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Full text of "History of the German people : from the earliest times to the accession of Emperor William II : including a full and complete life of Emperor William I, founder of the new German empire"

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Author  of  **  The  Protbctivb  Tariff,"  Etc. 











Introduction,        ...  .  .  .  •  »         17 

The  Ancient  Gebmans,  .....  81 

Conflict  op  tke  Romans  and  Teutons,  ...         47 

From  Fall  of  Western  Roman  EifPiRS  to  End  of  the 

HOHBNSTAUFENS,        ......  81 

From  the  Hohenstaufen  to  the  Hohenzollbrn,      .  .       186 

Thb  Hohenzollern  Dynasty, 187 

Prince  William — His  Biuto  and  Youth,    ....       219 

As  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia,      .....  274 

The  Rbyolution  in  Baden, 889 

pRiNCB  William  as  King  William  I.  of  Prussia,    .        .  849 

ThbAustro-Prubsian  War,  .....       878 

The  Franco-Prussian  War,      .....  406 

Emperor  William's  Ecclesiastical  War,         .  .        .       447 

Emperor  William  I.  as  a  Man,         ....  462 

Death  and  Burial  of  Emperor  William  I.,     .  .         .       474 

Unser  Fritz,  .....  488 

Emperor  William  II.,  .         .         ,         ,         ,  .       012 




Empsbob  William  I., 



a  hohbnzollbrn  family  in  1200,        ....  83 

At  Ybbsaillbs  on  the  18th  of  January,  1871,    .           *  368 

Battle  near  Doffikgbn,           .....  90 

Bismarck  Escorts  Napoleon  III.  to  Belleyub  Castle,  348 

Bbinoing  Offerings  for  the  War  of  Independence,  275 

Charlemagne  Inflicting  Baptism  i  pon  the  Saxons,  .  40 
Conferring  Knighthood,                       .           .                       .53 

Council  of  War  in  Novbmber,  1870,  ...  357 
Crown  Prince  William  (now  Emperor  William  II.)  and 

W^iFB,     .......  863 

Cbown  Pbincb  Frederick  William  and  Wife  (late  Em- 

PEBOR  Frederick  III.  and  the  Empress  Victoria,)  482 
Decoration  of  Fredebick  III.  with  the  Order  '•  Pour  le 

Mebitb"  upon  the  Battle-field  op  Eoniggratz,  335 

Elizabeth  Christine,  Wife  of  Frederick  the  Great,  140 

Emperor  William  I.,                        .                       .            .  304 

Emperor  William  I.,      .            .           .            .           .            .  386 

Empress  Augusta,      .            .            .            .            .            .  313 

Four  Generations — Emperor  William  I.,  Son,  Grandson 

AND  Great-Grandson,       .....  370 

Frederick  William,  the  Great  Elector,  .            .           .  9G 

Fredbbick  the  Great  in  His  Library,  .  •  .211 





Fredeuick  the  Great  after  the  Battle  of  Torgam,         .  162 

Frederick  the  Great  Entering  Potsdam  in  1779,         .  171 

Frederick  the  Great  after  the  Battle  of  Koltn,           .  156 

Frederick  the  Great  Playing  the  Flute,         .            .  203 

FiiSDERicK  William  I.  Inspecting  His  Grenadiers,              .  127 

Frederick  the  Great  and  Voltaire,       .           .           .  178 

Frederick  William  IV.  in  His  Study,            .           ,           .  297 

FuEDEiucK  III.,  Late  Emperor  op  Germany^        .           .  495 

Frederick  III.  in  His  Study,     .....  507 

Funeral  Procession  of  Emperor  William  I.,       .  412 

General  Field-Marshal  Count  Hslmuth  von  Molxke       .  326 

King  Frederick  William  I.,           .           .           .           .  105 

King  Frederick  I.,  .  .  .  .  .  .118 

King  Frederick  II.  (The  Great),              ...  V6i 

King  Frederick  William  III.,              ....  218 

King  Frederick  William  IV.,       ....  291 

King  William  at  the  Tomb  of  His  Parents  on  July  19, 1870, 

Previous  to  His  Departure  to  the  Army,  .           .  342 

Marshal  Blucher,           ......  258 

Mounted  Goth,          ......  21 

Peter  the  Hermit,         .  .  .  .  .  .61 

Prince  Oito  von  Bismarck,  Chancellor  of  ihe  Realm,  320 

Queen  Sophia  Charlotte.  Wife  of  Frederick  I.,    .           .  Ill 

Queen  Louise  with  Her  Two  Sons  in  1797,        .           .  242 

Queen  Louise,      .......  235 

Queen  Louisa,            ......  251 

Reconciliation  of  Frederick  the  Great  and  His  Father,  149 



Social  GATHBRiNe  at  Saks-Souci,  ....  195 

The  Execution  of  the  Wife  of  the  Traitor  Goth,  .       27 

The  Goths  in  Rome,             .            .            .            .            .  '    87 

The  Four  Leaders  of  the  First  Crusade,     .           .  .67 

The  Huns  in  Germany,        .....  43 

Teuton  Women  Defending  the  Cars  Against  MARnm,  .        15 

The  Sick  Emperor  William  I.  and  Bismarck,     .           •  392 

The  Mourning  German  Family,           .           .           .      '  .      407 

The  Dead  Emperor  William  I.,  .  .  .  401 
The  Dowager  Empress  Victoria,  ....  499 
Transferring  the  Emperor's  Remains  to  Charlottenbbrg,    421 

The  Old  HoHSNzoLiiERN  Castle,          .           .           .  .74 

The  Berlin  Congress,         .....  879 

The  Late  Emperor  William  I.  at  the  Age  of  Nine,  .      282 

William  II.,  Emperor  of  Gerbiant,          ...  510 

In  oomlderatloii  of  the  rast  numben  of  our  Ctennaa 
fellow-citijBeiu  who  are  most  coDversant  with  the  German 
language,  and  who  desire  to  have  the  romantic  story  of  the 
Qerman  Fatherland  in  their  native  mother-tongue,  the 
publishers  have  also  issued  this  work  in  the  Qerman  lan- 




History  records  the  fact  that,  for  the  last  fifteen  hun- 
dred years,  Germany's  limited  territory  has  been  the 
great  battlefield  upon  which  the  periodical  struggles  be- 
tween determined  peoples  for  the  possession  of  territory, 
the  supremacy  of  moral  ideas,  and  the  unyielding  wars 
between  dynasties,  have  taken  place. 

As  a  consequence,  the  inhabitants  of  her  most  flour- 
ishing districts  and  cities  were  the  endless  victims  of  fire 
and  sword.  Almost  before  a  city  had  been  rebuilt,  or  a 
stubborn  farmer  changed  his  devastated  acres  into  ripen- 
ing fields  of  grain,  another  army,  with  burning  torch  and 
tramping  legions,  knocked  at  its  gate,  marched  into  its 
fields,  sacked  its  cities  and  destroyed  its  people.  To  real- 
ize this  state  of  insecurity  it  is  but  necessary  to  remind 
the  reader  of  the  invasion  of  the  Huns  under  Attila,  the 
"  Mass  Conversions  "  of  the  Saxons  by  Charlemagne,  the 
interminable  struggles  for  the  possession  of  the  Imperial 
crown  of  Germany,  for  the  extension  and  accessions  of 
territory  by  contesting  rulers,  the  religious  and  political 
commotions  of  the  great  Eeformation,  the  Thirty  Years' 
War,  which  came  very  near  depopulating  Germany,  the 
overrunning  of  the  Palatinate — the  Bhinish  provinces  — 
by  the  soldiers  of  Louis  XIV.,  under  command  of  the  no- 
torious Melac,  the  Seven  Tears*  War  of  Frederick  the 
Great  against  all  the  powers  of  Europe,  and  last,  but  not 
least,  the  devastating  wars  of  Napoleon  I.  against  Prussia 
and  Bussia. 

In  view  of  this  never-ending  strife,  consider  for  a 
moment  of  what  stuff  these  people  were  made  to  with- 

^     -  17 


stand  the  constantly  recurring  destruction  of  their  homes, 
their  cities  and  accumulations,  and  still  are  to  be  found  to- 
day in  the  front  ranks  of  art,  science,  literature^in  fine,  in 
every  walk  that  denotes  the  highest  state  of  modern 
civilization ! 

The  immediate  cause,  however,  which  gave  the  first 
impulse  to  German  emigration  across  the  Atlantic  was 
the  inhumanities  practiced  by  French  General  Melac  to- 
wards the  Protestant  inhabitants  of  the  Ehinish  provinces. 

Scarcely  had  the  two  destructive  armies  of  the  Thirty 
Years'  War  turned  their  backs  upon  the  starving  inhabit- 
ants of  the  farms  and  villages  of  Southern  Germany  ere 
the  French  army  of  Melac  was  turned  loose  upon  the 
Northern  portion,  transforming  one  of  the  most  fertile  re- 
giohTinto  a  barren  desert!^ 

The  terrible  winter  of  1708  and  1709  seems  to  have 
filled  their  cup  of  misery  to  overflowing. 

In  their  famishing  straits,  applying  in  vain  to  the  au- 
thorities  for  assistanoe,  their  sorrowful  eyes  were  at  last 
turned  towards  the  New  World. 

Through  the  exertions  of  a  Protestant  clergyman, 
Joshua  von  Hochertal,  of  the  city  of  Landau,  his  cojigre- 
gation  succeeded  in  securing  transportation  to  London, 
from  whence,  through  the  mediation  of  Queen  Anne,  they 
were  sent  upon  English  ships  to  the  colonies  in  the  year 

The  speculative  Englishman,  who  had  long  before 
seized  upon  the  best  lands  of  "  this  goodly  country,"  soon 
discovering  the  stern  qualities  of  the  new-comers,  under- 
stood their  adaptability  to  agricultural  pursuits  and  trade, 
and  soon  induced  the  well-satisfied  immigrants  to  write 
back  to  friends  and  relatives  at  home  ^^  to  come  over." 


So  eflectoal  were  these  cheering  missives  that  in  June 
of  the  following  year  14,000  Rhinish  and  Swabian  Ger- 
mans were  waiting  in  London  for  passage  to  the  land  of 
golden  opportunities. 

Reaching  the  colonies  in  safety,  they  were  invited  by 

the  Quakers  of  Philadelphia  to  come  into  Pennsylvania, 

which  invitation  was  accepted,  and  there  was  laid  the 

foundation  of  a  highly-appreciated  class  of  American 

husbandmen  and  artisans,  miscalled  the  Pennsylvania 


In  the  trail  of  this  industrious  class,  which,  during  the 

first  quarter  of  the  last  century  flocked  to  the  New  World, 
there  came  a  class  of  very  undesirable  emigrants,  a  mul- 
titude of  dangerous  and  worthless  characters,  who^  in  the 
wake  of  now  disbanded  armies,  had  plundered  the  defense- 
less inhabitants,  and  robbed  the  dead  and  wounded  upon 
the  many  battlefields — in  short,  the  outcasts  created  by 
long  and  destructive  wars  in  Germany.  Under  various 
subterfuges  they  had  secured  transportation  and  were  now 
congregated  in  the  few  cities  of  the  coast,  refusing  to 
work  and  preying  upon  their  more  prosperous  country- 

In  consequence  of  this  disturbing  element,  the  security 
of  property  was  threatened  and  discredit  was  cast  upon 
all  emigrants  from  Germany. 

Accordingly,  the  colonial  authorities  of  Pennsylvania 
in  1727  believed  themselves  called  upon  to  pass  restrictive 
regulations  against  emigrants  from  Germany  in  general, 
which,  as  wiU  be  seen,  were  extremely  severe  and  humili- 
ating to  that  nationality. 

The  act  provided  the  payment  of  a  tax  of  forty  shillings 
per  head  be  demanded  of  every  German  landing  upon  its 

22  IKTRODtJCnoK. 

shores — the  same  tax  that  was  required  for  the  landing  of 
an  imported  negro  slave,  while  only  half  that  sum,  twenty 
shillings,  was  demanded  of  an  Irishman — an  obnoxious 
discrimination,  which  time  seems  not  to  have  obliterated. 
As  in  the  case  of  all  unjust  laws,  the  doors  of  outrageous 
abuses  were  opened. 

The  honest  but  destitute  emigrant,  who  had  secured 
his  passage  under  the  promise  of  refunding  the  money 
upon  securing  employment,  unable  to  pay  this  tax,  was 
sold  the  same  as  a  slave  to  the  highest  bidder,  by  which 
outrage  the  members  of  families  were  often  ruthlessly 

It  was  but  natural  that  emigrants  arriving  under  such 
circumstances  should  have  engendered  in  the  minds  of 
the  native  colonists  feelings  of  commiseration  mingled 
with  contempt. 

However,  these  hardships  were  of  but  temporary  dura- 
tion. Diligently  and  faithfully  performing  every  duty» 
bearing  their  humiliation  with  meekness,  they  gradually 
succeeded  in  emancipating  themselves  from  this  state  of 

Thousands  of  valuable  estates  in  Pennsylvania,  still  in 
possession  of  the  descendants  of  these  emigrants,  attest 
to  the  truth  of  the  golden  opinions  finally  won  by  them, 
and  after  recorded  in  the  historical  annals  of  the  Key- 
stone State. 

But  the  prejudice  and  disdain  which  these  early  Ger- 
mans had  unmeritedly  received  from  the  English  had 
hardly  disappeared  when  a  laofe  serious  cause  for  bring- 
ing the  Germans  into  disrepute  was  found. 

In  the  eariy  stages  of  the  War  for  Independence,  when 
the  colonists  had  taxed  th^nselves  to  the  utmost  limit  in 


fiin  gotlit((l[er  Seller. 

iNTRODUCrriON,  23 

blood  and  treasure,  it  was  discovered  that  thousands  ol 
Oermans  had  been  hired  by  the  English  government  to 
assist  in  subduing  them. 

This  fact  was  sufficient  to  re-awaken  the  old  prejudice, 
and  to  create  a  sentiment  of  antipathy  toward  any  person 
coming  from  Germany  or  bearing  a  German  name — which 
in  this  instance,  without  a  knowledge  of  the  real  condition 
of  things,  was  quite  excusable. 

They  could  not  know,  and  if  they  had  known  they 

would  not  have  believed  it  possible,  that  sovereigns  would 

liave  bartered  whole  ship-loads  of  their  subjects  as  cattle 

and  horses  are  bought  and  sold. 

The  principal  actors  in  this  monstrous  traffic  were 

the  Ministers  of  England  on  the  one  side  and  the  Prince 

of  the  Electorate  of  Hesse  and  the  Margrave  of  Ansba^h. 

According  to  the  historian  Schlosser,  not  less  tlian 
20,000  of  these  so-called  "  Hessian  hirelinp^s  "  were  added  to 
the  English  army  in  their  warfare  against  the  American 

It  is  a  well  authenticated  fact  that  but  few  of  these  men 
enrolled  voluntarily,  and  those  who  did  were  deceived  as 
to  the  real  point  of  destination.  Most  of  them  were 
pressed  into  the  service. 

Kegular  rnzzids  were  organized  in  Southern  Germany. 
Young  men  were  seized  by  recruiting  emissaries, 
dragged  to  the  nearest  garrison,  from  whence  they  were 
transported  in  gangs,  under  strong  military  escort,  to 

The  German  poet,  Seume,  who  afterward  became  a 
noted  writer,  was  one  of  these  victims,  and  the  details  of 
his  experience,  which  is  that  of  thousands  of  others,  are 
as  follows : 

24  iNTRODttCTTOlt. 

Returning  home  on  a  vacation  from  the  University  of 
Leipsic,  he  was  seized  by  Hessian  recruiting  agents  and 
thrown  into  the  Fortress  of  Ziegenheim.  He  says  in  his 
biography :  "  Upon  learning  the  object  of  our  imprison- 
ment, a  number  of  us  resolved  to  revolt,  but  the  plot  was 
revealed  to  the  officers  of  the  garrison.  We  were  ordered 
into  line  in  front  of  the  Arsenal,  covered  by  a  regiment  of 
infantry  and  several  pieces  of  artillery.  The  leaders  were 
called  to  the  front,  two  of  them  sentenced  to  be  hung  and 
others  ordered  to  run  the  gauntlet." 

"It  would  not  do,"  says  Seume, "  to  hang  too  many  of 
us,  because  we  were  expensive  articles  of  merchandise, 
and  England  pays  nothing  for  dead  soldiers.  After  our 
arrival  in  Long  Island,  we  again  attempted  to  rebel 
against  our  captors,  as  we  preferred  to  fight  on  the  side 
of  the  Americans;  but  the  preliminaries  for  peace  between 
the  United  States  and  England  had  begun  before  our 
plan  could  be  executed." 

This  short  and  truthful  story  of  the  experiences  of  a 
"  Hessian  hireling"  was  that  of  thousands  of  others,  and 
is  a  dreadful  exposition  of  the  infamous  trade  in  human 
flesh  carried  on  by  philanthropic  England  and  the  dissi- 
pated and  heartless  Drincelings  of  two  small  German 

The  writings,  in  prose  and  verse,  of  the  most  noted  and 
popular  poets  and  historians  of  Germany,  the  great 
Frederick  Schiller  among  them,  who  at  the  time  denounced 
the  infamous  traffic,  only  reflected  the  prevailing  sentiment 
of  the  people  at  large. 

In  this  connection  it  is  pleasant  to  remember  that 
Frederick  the  Great,  the  first  great  king  of  the  Hohen- 
zoUem  family,  made  public  his  sentiments  in  the  matter 

iNTEODUCriON.  27 

by  ref  asing  passage  through  the  Prussian  territory  of  these 
troops.  Said  he  to  the  Hessian  ambassador :  "  Tell  your 
master  if  I  allow  these  Hessians  passage  through  my 
lands,  I  will  lay  a  cattle-tax  upon  them,  as  they  are  to  be 
sold  to  England  like  cattle." 

That  this  was  the  feeling  aiso  of  the  German  settlers 
m  the  colonies  is  supported  by  the  fact  that,  in  spite  of 
the  allurements  and  liberal  inducements  offered  by  Eng- 
land, they  remained  loyal  to  the  cause  of  Independence, 
and  joined  the  colonial  ranks  in  large  numbers  under  the 
command  of  Mcolaus  and  Hengist  Herkeimer  and  Jacob 

It  is  a  somewhat  significant  fact,  tnat  no  historian 
writing  in  the  English  language  has  mentioned  this  cir- 
cumstance. This  duty  of  making  known  to  the  reading 
Germans  the  part  their  countrymen  took  in  the  colonial 
rebellion  has  been  faithfully  performed  by  Frederick 
Kapp  who,  in  his  "History  of  the  Germans  of  New 
York,"  says :  "  The  German  farmers  were  not,  as  has  been 
stated  by  Burnet,  in  favor  of  England,  but  against  her. 
They  constituted,  as  it  were,  the  strong  wall  which 
resisted  the  enemy's  incursions  and  baiBed  all  their 
attempts  to  separate  the  Eastern  and  Northern  colonies 
from  the  Southern.  "While  with  the  rest  they  participated 
in  the  common  struggle,  shedding  their  blood  for  the  cause 
of  Independence,  they  are  entitled  to  a  share  of  the  glory 
of  the  great  achievement.  But  for  the  pflBciency  and 
stubbornness  of  the  German  troops  from  the  Mohawk  and 
Schoharie  it  is  questionable  whether  the  cause  of  the  colo- 
nists, which  has  resulted  in  so  great  a  blessing  to  mankind, 
would  have  eventually  triumphed.  And  what  was  the  con- 
duct of  the  German-Americans  toward  the  country  of  their 



adoption  at  the  outbreak  and  during  the  late  civil  war  I 
Is  it  not  a  fact  that,  without  a  single  exception,  they  ex- 
pressed themselves  most  loyal  to  the  cause  of  the  Union, 
demonstrating  their  professions  by  joining  the  first  armed 
levies  en  masse  t  Of  the  first  75,000  men  called  out 
by  President  Lincoln,  it  is  safe  to  say  that  not  less  than 
one-fourth  of  the  number  were  of  German  nationalitv. 
The  State  of  New  York  furnished  several  regiments,  com- 
posed almost  exclusively  of  German- Americans,  as  did 
Pennsylvania,  Ohio,  Indiana  and  Illinois ;  of  the  first  five 
regiments  furnished  by  Missouri,  two-thirds  of  the  men 
were  Germans. 

How  well  they  did  their  duty  on  every  battlefield  is 
evinced  by  the  many  thousand  German  names  recorded 
on  the  nation's  roll  of  honor. 

In  peace,  in  their  homes,  in  their  business  relations,  in 
their  occupations  as  farmers,  artisans,  merchants,  profes- 
sionals, artists  and  musicians,  do  they  not  compare  favor- 
ably with  every  other  foreigner  coming  to  these  shores  ? 
Do  the  poor-houses,  jails  and  penal  institutions  of  the 
country  contain  a  larger  proportion  of  German- Americans 
than  those  of  other  nationalities?  The  people  of  the 
countries  which  stand  at  the  front  of  civilization  to-day 
are  all  descendants  of  the  old  Teuton  tribes  of  Germany, 
and  it  is  a  sad  commentary  upon  the  much-vaunted  state 
of  social  and  political  progress  in  this  country,  that  blind 
prejudice  has  been,  and  is  still,  the  greatest  barrier  against 
a  friendly  commingling  of  these  different  nationalities, 
which  is  an  absolute  requisite  to  the  formation  of  national 
homogeneousness — the  prosperity  and  strength  of  the 
Republic.  There  is  no  doubt,  that  under  the  most  favor- 
able circumstances,  to  amalgamate  the  most  restless,  dar* 

Die  E^inridrtnng  >«r  jrau  tints  golljifdieii  VtaSttfos- 




ing  and  unyielding  of  the  various  nationalities  which  have 
been  and  now  are  spreading  over  the  North  American 
continent,  into  one  great  American  nationality,  having 
its  own  type,  its  physical  and  intellectual  characteristics, 
it  will  require  years  yet  of  animadversion  and  strife. 

But  when  existing  differences  have  been  adjusted 
through  a  right  understanding  of  the  claims  of  each, 
when  objectionable  tendencies  have  been  checked,  the 
asperities  as  well  as  salient  characteristics  of  each,  tem- 
pered by  a  growing  sentiment  of  tolerance,  and  only  that 
which  is  pure  and  ennobling  and  in  full  hatmony  with  the 
genius  of  American  institutions  retained,  then  will  there 
be,  distinctively  no  more  Anglo-Saxon,  Celt,  Sclav, 
Scandinavian,  French  or  German,  but  a  people  whose 
characteristics  have  been  inherited  from  the  healthiest 
and  strongest  tribes  in  mind  and  body — "The  survival 
of  the  fittest."  The  author  has  offered  these  glimpses  of 
German- American  history  merely  to  show  the  reader  that 
although  the  Germans  are  citizens  of  the  United  States, 
and  loyal  to  its  government,  they  hold  in  reverence  the 
memory  of  the  man  who  was  the  embodiment  of  German 
unity  and  power — ^not  to  be  interpreted,  however,  as  the 
adoration  of  pomp  and  splendor,  but  as  the  spontaneous 
acknowledgment  of  a  grateful  people  toward  a  monarch 
to  whom  they  are  indebted  for  the  realization  of  a  dream 
of  nearly  twenty  centuries'  duration. 



IN  THIS  ago  of  historical,  ethnological  and  philological 
research,  to  write  a  complete  history  of  the  Teutonic 
people  would  require  the  lifetime  of  a  man  untrained  in 
these  particular  branches  of  study.  That  duty  must  be 
left  to  men  of  more  leisure,  and  with  a  greater  capacity 
and  love  for  delving  into  tomes  of  musty  lore  than  the 
author  claims  to  possess. 

Therefore,  in  this  short  sketch  of  the  Germans,  pre- 
ceding the  life  of  Emperor  William  I.,  the  object  is 
merely  to  give  the  reader  a  general  idea  of  the  origin, 
geographical  situation  in  Europe,  the  early  conditions,  the 
customs  and  laws  of  this  ancient  people,  in  order  that  he 
may  have  a  fair  knowledge  of  the  nation  of  fifty  million 
souls,  Iv^hich  to-day  mourns  the  loss  of  its  imperial  chief. 

It  is  generally  supposed  that  the  Germanic  races,  col- 
lectively called  Teutons,  were  a  branch  of  the  Aryan 
family  of  nations,  who,  at  a  period  of  which  there  is 
no  record,  migrated  from  Asia  across  the  Ural  and  Cau- 
casus mountains  to  the  northwestern  part  of  Kussia. 

It  is  known  from  a  similarity  in  many  of  the  earliest 
linguistic  groups,  that  the  Germanic  tribes  and  Slavs  were 
in  constant  intercourse.  But  the  first  authentic  geo- 
graphical situation  of  these  more  than  fifty  tribes,  out- 
lined by  historians,  was  within  the  boundaries  of  the  Rhine, 
the  Danube  and  the  Vistula — ^the  three  largest  rivers  of 

The  earliest  aocoimt  of  their  advent  upon  the  political 



stage  of  Europe,  is  in  the  year  102  b.  c,  when,  as 
Kingsley  says,  "the  Kempers  and  Teutons  broke  over 
the  Alps  with  a  force  of  300,000  men  and  15,000  mailed 
knights,  armed  with  broad-swords  and  lances,  and  roam- 
ing over  the  sunny  plains  of  Italy,  stumbled  upon  Marius 
with  his  Roman  legions,  who  utterly  destroyed  them." 

A  people  able  to  muster  such  an  immense  force  of 
armed  men,  pre-supposes  organization,  military  drill,  dis- 
cipline, plan,  and  a  certain  degree  of  administrative  ability, 
as  well  as  a  certain  amount  of  skill  and  handicraft  in  the 
manufacture  of  arms  and  equipments,  indispensable  to  the 
efficiency  of  any  army  in  the  field. 

No  parallel,  therefore,  can  be  drawn  between  a  people 
thus  advanced  and  the  roving  tribes  of  predatory  North 
American  savages,  as  has  been  attempted  by  the  historian 

True,  they  were  a  primitive  people,  in  a  state  of  semi- 
barbaric  simplicity,  living  in  the  primeval  forests  of  Cen- 
tral Europe,  but  nursing  within  their  breasts  the  germ  of 
a  civilization  which  has  spread  over  the  Western  half  of 
the  globe. 

While,  to  the  contrary,  "  had  Gibbon  been  right,"  says 
Kingsley,  "  and  our  forefathers  in  the  German  wilds  had 
been  like  Powhatan's  people,  as  the  English  found  them 
in  Virginia,  the  Eomans  would  not  have  been  long  in 
civilizing  them  off  the  face  of  the  earth." 

Occupying  a  country  abounding  in  game,  the  little  land 
they  cultivated  richly  repaying  their  toil,  it  is  probable, 
that  for  centuries  they  lived  in  an  isolated  but  free  and 
happy  state,  little  known  to  the  neighbors  to  the  west 
and  south  of  them.  As  the  German  historian  Menzel 
describes  them : — "  When  the  merchants  of  Tyre  and  Car- 


thage  were  weighing  their  heavy  anchors  and  spreading 
their  purple  sails  for  far  seas,  the  Greek  was  making  the 
earth  fair  by  his  art,  and  the  Boman  was  founding  his 
colossal  empire  of  force,  the  Teuton  was  yet  a  child;  but 
a  child  of  a  royal  race,  destined  to  win  glory  for  all  time 
to  come." 

The  desire  for  homogeneousness  appears  to  have  pre- 
vailed among  the  different  tribes  of  the  Germanic  race, 
long  before  mention  is  made  in  history  of  their  existence. 
Julius  CaBsar  possessed  a  knowledge  of  three  distinct 
Germanic  confederations  about  the  time  of  Christ.  The 
Suevy  confederation  comprised  the  territory  between  the 
Elbe,  the  Vistula  and  the  Baltic  Sea,  which  was  subse- 
quently extended  to  Southern  Germany,  where,  under  the 
name  of  Swabians,  their  descendants  are  still  to  be  found; 
the  tribes  of  the  confederation  of  the  Cherusci,  of  which 
Arminius,  the  hero  of  the  battle  of  "  Teutoburger  Wald," 
was  chief,  dwelt  upon  lands  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Harz 
mountains ;  and  the  Macromanni,  under  the  leadership  of 
Mardobuus,  occupied  the  territory  along  the  Danube,  and 
later  on,  the  country  now  known  as  Bohemia.  It  is  also 
known  that  the  Saxons  and  Angl^,  whose  settlements 
stretched  along  the  west  bank  of  the  lower  Elbe,  had  also 
formed  an  alliance  for  mutual  protection. 

Thus  early  were  the  aspirations  of  these  Teutonic 
tribes  for  unity  in  government  put  in  practice. 

Their  manner  of  settlement  seems  to  have  struck  Tac- 
itus, a  Boman  historian,  born  about  50  b.  o.,  as  peculiar. 

"  That  none  of  the  several  peoples  in  Germany,"  says 
he,  "  live  together  in  cities,  is  abundantly  known;  nay,  that 
amongst  them  none  of  their  dwellings  are  suffered  to  be 
contiguous.    They  settle  apart  and  distinct,  just  as  a 


fountain,  or  a  field,  or  a  wood,  happens  to  invite  tHem; 
They  build  their  villages  not  in  the  manner  of  the 
Eomans,  with  houses  joining  each  other.  Every  man  has 
a  vacant  space  around  his  own,  either  for  security  against 
fire,  or  because  they  know  not  the  art  of  building.  In  all 
their  structures  they  employ  materials  quite  gross  and 
unhewn — ^log-houses.  Some  parts  they  besmear  with  an 
earth,  so  pure  and  resplendent  that  it  resembles  painting 
in  colors." 

Of  their  personal  appearance,  we  are  told,  "they  re- 
sembled none  but  themselves.  With  eyes  stern  and  blue, 
yellow  hair  and  huge  bodies — ^the  same  make  and  form  is 
found  in  all." 

"  For  their  covering  they  all  wear  a  mantle — a  sort  of 
loose  shirt — fastened  with  a  clasp,  or,  for  the  want  of  it, 
a  thorn.  As  far  as  this  reached  not  they  were  naked. 
The  dress  of  the  women  differed  not  from  that  of  the  men, 
save  that  they  were  ordinarily  attired  in  linen,  embroidered 
with  purple,  using  no  sleeves,  so  that  all  their  arms  were 
bare."  This  was  no  doubt  their  summer  costume,  as  we 
read  that  the  tribes  bordering  the  Rhine,  used,  without  any 
delicicy,  the  skins  of  wild  beasts. 

In  their  family  relations  only  the  pure  were  allowed  to 
marry.  The  wife  brought  no  dower  to  the  husband ;  on 
the  contrary,  the  husband  made  the  presents ;  "  they  were 
not  presents,"  says  Tacitus,  "adapted  to  feminine  display 
and  delicacy,  but  oxen,  and  a  horse  accoutred,  a  shield,  a 
javelin  and  sword ;  by  virtue  of  these  gifts  she  was 
espoused ;  that  she  might  not  suppose  herself  free  from 
the  considerations  of  fortitude  and  fighting,  or  exempt 
from  the  casualties  of  war,  the  very  first  solemnities  of 
her  wedding  served  to  warn  her,  that  she  came  to  her 


husband  in  his  hazards  and  fatigues ;  that  she  was  to 
suffer  alike  with  him ;  to  adventure  alike  during  peace  or 

The  oxen  joined  under  one  yoke,  symbolized  the  equal 
share  of  duties  between  them ;  the  horse  equipped,  repre- 
sented readiness  for  every  call  to  defend  countrv  and 

These  arms  were  to  be  preserved  inviolate  by  the  wife, 
to  be  bestowed  upon  her  sons  at  their  marriage,  the  brides 
of  whom  must  resign  them  to  their  sons  in  turn,  and  so, 
the  halle  aux  armes  became  the  sacred  altar  of  every 
household  at  its  foundation. 

The  ordinary  husband  was  contented  with  one  wife,  a 
condition  exceptional  among  the  semi-civilized  nations  of 
that  period.  It  was,  however,  permitted  to  a  few  of  the 
most  dignified  and  notable,  in  order  to  add  to  the  luster 
of  their  families,  to  make  other  alliances. 

Among  a  people  so  numerous,  adultery  was  exceedingly 
rare ;  but  when  committed,  was  a  crime  to  be  instantly 
punished.  The  punishment  was  to  be  inflicted  by  the 
injured  husband.  After  cutting  off  the  criminal's  golden 
hair  and  stripping  her  naked,  in  the  presence  of  her  kin- 
dred and  family,  she  was  expelled  from  her  home  and 
pursued  with  stripes  through  the  village ;  no  pardon  was 
granted  her,  however  beautiful,  however  exalted ;  a  hus- 
band she  never  more  could  have ! 

Increase  of  family  was  encouraged,  and  the  destruction 
of  infant  life  considered  an  abominable  sin. 

Children  were  reared  naked,  and  thus  grew  into  those 
limbs, "  the  size  of  which,"  says  the  historian,  "  were  a 
marvel  to  behold."  They  were  nourished  with  the  milk 
of  their  own  mothers.    By  any  superior  rearing  the  lord 


could  not  be  distinguished  from  the  slave;  but,  at  a 
proper  age,  the  free  born  were  separated  from  the  rest, 
and  henceforth  brought  up  to  deeds  of  valor  and  conquest. 
It  was  not,  however,  allowed  to  a  young  man  to  bear  arms 
before  the  community  had  attested  his  capacity  to  use 
them.  Upon  such  testimonial,  either  one  in  authority,  or 
his  father,  or  some  kinsman,  in  the  midst  of  the  assembly, 
conferred  upon  him  a  shield  and  a  javelin. 

This  was  his  mardy  robe  /  this  was  the  first  degree  of 
honor  with  which  he  was  invested.  Before  this  ceremony 
the  youth  was  only  a  part  of  a  private  family — after,  he 
was  a  part  of  the  community. 

The  dignity  of  prince  was  often  conferred  upon  mere 
striplings,  whose  family  were  noble,  or  whose  fathers  had 
done  great  and  signal  service  to  the  state.  These  were 
at  all  times  surrounded  by  a  numerous  band  of  young 
men — for  ornament  and  glory  in  peace,  for  security  and 
defense  in  war. 

These  princes  become  famous  through  the  number  of 
their  followers  and  warlike  deeds,  and  by  their  renown 
alone,  were  often  able  to  prevent  wars.  In  battle,  no 
prince  must  be  surpassed  in  feats  of  bravery  by  his  fol- 
lowers; and  it  was  disgraceful  for  his  followers  to  fall 
behind  the  bravery  of  their  prince.  To  return  alive  from 
a  battle  in  which  their  prince  had  been  slain  was  an  in- 
famy during  life.  The  most  sacred  part  of  their  oath, 
obliged  them  to  preserve  their  prince,  to  defend  him,  and 
to  ascribe  to  his  glory  all  ikeir  ovm  valorous  deeds. 

When  their  own  community,  by  long  peace  and  inac- 
tivity, gave  them  nothing  to  do,  they,  betook  themselves 
to  other  states  in  war,  because,  except  in  perilous  adven- 
ture or  wars,  the  prince  could  not  support  his  numerous 

V'n  fflotljen  in  Horn 


train  of  retainers.  The  prince  furnished  his  followers 
with  war-horses  and  javelins. 

After  the  fatigues  of  battle  they  passed  their  time  in 
indolence,  sleeping  and  eating.  The  most  brave  and 
warlike  applied  themselves  to  nothing  but  war.  They 
'  could  not  be  persuaded  to  cultivate  the  ground,  since  they 
deemed  it  stupid  and  spiritless  to  acquire  by  sweat  what 
could  be  gained  by  blood.  "  It  was  amazing,"  continues 
Tacitus,  ^^to  find  in  men  so  much  delight  in  sloth  with  so 
much  emnity  to  repose." 

In  recruiting  their  armies  they  took  out  of  every  village 
one  hundred  of  their  most  robust  young  men,  and  placed 
them  as  infantry  in  front  of  the  army. 

Military  discipline  was  not  so  much  maintained  by  au- 
thority or  threats  of  punishment,  as  by  the  valorous  ex- 
ample of  their  chiefs.  In  the  leader,  who  had  distin- 
guished himself  in  the  front  rank  of  battle,  they  placed 
implicit  confidence  and  strictly  obeyed  his  orders.  The 
expression  of  a  wish  by  the  revered  chief  was  law  to  the 
common  soldier.  It  was  not  his  rank  which  gave  him 
power  over  his  semi-barbaric  hordes,  but  his  example. 

The  most  glaring  disgrace  that  could  befall  a  man  was 
to  have  quitted  the  field  while  a  battle  raged;  for  one 
branded  with  such  infamy  it  was  unlawful  for  him  to 
join  in  their  religious  sacrifices,  or  to  enter  into  the  as- 
sembly, and  many  such,  who  had  escaped  from  battle, 
hanged  themselves,  says  the  historian,  to  avoid  the 
ignominy  heaped  upon  them  by  their  tribe. 

In  conformity  with  her  marriage  vows,  and  by  the  sig- 
nificance of  her  dower,  the  wife  was  expected  to  share  all 
the  hardships,  dangers  and  vicissitudes  of  her  husband — a 
sentiment  which  seems  to  be  one  of  the  striking  charac- 


teristicB  of  the  Grerman  of  to-day.  It  was  the  custom  for 
the  families  of  soldiers  to  accompany  them  to  battle  in  order 
to  witness  the  bravery  of  their  husbands,  brothers,  and 
sons,  to  draw  the  blood  from  their  wounds  with  their  lips, 
and  to  carry  to  them  drink  and  meat  while  under  fire. 
In  exti*eme  danger  the  doleful  bowlings  of  the  wives  and 
children  spurred  the  men  on  to  renewed  courage  and 
daring,  and  it  is  related  that  at  the  first  great  battle  of  the 
Teutons  and  Marius,  after  further  resistance  became  mere 
hopeless  desperation,  the  women,  rather  than  fall  into  the 
hands  of  the  Roman  victors,  hung  themselves  upon  the 
horns  of  oxen  to  be  trampled  to  death  under  their  feet. 

It  is  generally  accepted  as  a  maxim  that  the  laws  of  a 
country,  whether  written  or  unwritten,  reflect  the  social 
condition  of  its  people.  With  primitive  peoples  good 
laws  can  originate  only  with  such  as  are  naturally  endowed 
with  a  high  sense  of  the  justice  and  duty  demanded  be- 
tween man  and  man ;  and  it  was  the  "  good  manners  " 
spoken  of  by  Tacitus — that  is,  the  morals,  honest  customs 
and  patriotic  aspirations,  coupled  with  an  innate  prin- 
ciple of  justice — which  existed  among  the  Teutonic  tribes 
of  Europe  that  laid  the  foundation  upon  which  has  been 
erected  the  two  greatest  monuments  of  liberty  known  to 
mankind — the  English  Magna  Charta  and  the  Constitution 
of  the  United  States. 

In  the  administration  of  justice  in  small  matters  the 
chiefs  determined  the  punishment  or  restitution  of  prop- 
erty ;  but  in  matters  of  importance  the  wholen  ation  de- 
liberated. Yet,  whatever  was  decided  by  the  people  was 
discussed  and  pondered  over  by  the  chiefs  in  conclave. 
These  assemblies  took  place  every  month,  at  the  full  of 
the  moon  if  Dossible,  and  were  held  at  night.    "  They  did 


.not  come  together  at  once,  as  men  afraid  to  disobey,"  con- 
tinues the  historian.  "  but  often  days  intervened,"  in  which, 
doubtless,  the  grievances  complained  of,  or  the  incursions 
upon  other  territory  to  be  decided  upon,  were  pretty 
thoroughly  ventilated  and  settled. 

Upon  assembling  they  sat  down  promiscuously,  like  a 
crowd,  all  armed.  The  priests  acted  as  chairmen.  The 
lionor  of  being  heard  first  was  accorded  to  the  chiefs,  fol- 
lowed by  others,  according  to  age,  warlike  renown,  or 
eloquence.  The  influence  of  every  speaker  was  measured 
by  his  powers  of  persuasion  rather  than  from  any  author- 
ity to  command.  If  the  speaker's  proposition  displeased 
them  they  rejected  it  in  low  murmurs  of  dissent ;  if,  to 
the  contrary,  it  pleased  them,  they  brandished  their  jave- 
lins. The  most  honorable  manner  of  signifying  their  as- 
sent was  by  the  sound  of  their  arms.  They  were  allowed 
to  present  accusations  in  these  assemblies,  and  to  prose- 
cute capital  offenses.  Punishment  varied  according  to 
the  heinousness  of  the  crime.  Traitors  and  deserters  they 
hung  upon  trees ;  cowards,  sluggards  and  prostitutes  they 
smothered  in  the  mud  and  marshes,  under  heaps  of 
hurdles.  In  lighter  transgressions,  the  delinquent  upon 
conviction  was  condemned  to  pay  a  certain  number  of 
horses  or  cattle ;  part  of  this  was  given  to  the  chief  or 
community,  part  to  him  who  had  been  redressed,  or  to 
his  next  of  kindred. 

In  the  same  assemblies  the  chiefs  were  chosen  and  such 
rulers  as  administered  justice  in  communities  or  villages. 
To  each  of  these,  one  hundred  pereons,  chosen  from 
amongst  the  populace,  were  assigned  to  assist  him  in  the 
execution  of  his  authority  and  to  bestow  upon  him  their 


In  their  worship,  the  exalted  and  peculiar  religious 
views  of  this  ancient  people — which  to  this  day  is  a  dis- 
tinguishing feature  of  the  Germans — cannot  be  better 
described  than  in  the  words  of  Tacitus  himself : 

"  From  the  grandeur  and  majesty  of  celestial  beings, 
they  judged  it  altogether  unsuitable  to  keep  the  gods 
vdthin  walls  or  to  represent  t/iem  under  any  Imman  like- 
ness. They  consecrated  whole  woods  and  groves  and 
named  them  after  their  gods.  In  mental  reverence  and 
contemplation  here  they  repaired  to  worship." 

In  other  words,  to  these  barbarians,  as  opposed  to  every 
other  religious  people  at  that  time  in  Europe,  a  deity  was 
altogether  too  sacred  and  sublime  a  being  to  be  fashioned 
into  the  likeness  of  a  human  form,  representing  as  it 
does  the  frailties  and  passions,  loves  and  hates  of  man. 
The  Great  Unknown  was  most  fittingly  worshiped  in  an 
edifice  built  by  himself  for  his  terrestrial  children,  the 
pillars  of  which  were  the  primitive,  majestic  trees  of  the 
sacred  groves  and  its  roof  the  blue  canopy  of  heaven. 

From  the  above  description  of  the  customs,  habits, 
manners  and  laws  of  these  early  Germanic  tribes,  drawn 
principally  from  the  writings  of  contemporaneous  his- 
torians, it  will  naturally  occur  to  the  reader,  that  a  people 
of  such  original  and  exceptional  traits  of  character,  must 
at  no  distant  day  carve  out  for  itself  a  brilliant  destiny, 
and  eventually  become  a  dominating  power  among  the 
nations  of  the  earth. 



AT  THE  period  described  in  the  foregoing  chapter, 
jLjl.  which  may  be-called  Germany's  infancy,  Rome  was 
nearing  the  zenith  of  her  splendor  and  power.  Her  do- 
minion extended  over  nearly  the  whole  of  Eastern  Europe, 
Asia  Minor,  Egypt  and  a  broad  strip  of  territory  border- 
ing the  Northern  Coast  of  Africa. 

In  the  nearly  seven  centuries  of  her  political  existence 
Rome  had  passed  through  all  the  stages  incident  to  the 
groAvth  of  a  nation.  She  had  struggled  through  the 
early  stages  of  government  from  tribal  association  to  a 
kingdom,  and  from  a  kingdom  to  a  republic,  and  was 
nearing  a  still  greater  change.  After  the  assassination 
of  Julius  Caesar,  Rome  was  the  greatest  power  that  had 
ever  existed,  and  yet,  in  the  midst  of  her  greatness,  the 
germ  of  dissolution  was  already  discernible. 

As  her  power  rested  upon  force,  and  not  upon  the 
patriotic  sentiment  of  a  people  enjoying  equal  rights,  it 
ought  to  have  been  apparent  to  her  statesmen  that  a 
republic,  of  which  but  a  small  fraction  of  its  male  inhab- 
itants were  enjoying  the  privileges  of  citizenship — only 
463,000  in  70  b.  c,  according  to  the  Roman  census — lacked 
the  very  essence  of  political  permanency,  and  that  owing 
to  the  want  of  a  deep  sense  of  morality,  love,  and  respect 
for  family  life,  the  social  condition  of  Rome  was  keeping 
pace  with  its  political  degeneracy. 

The  aristocracy,  proud  of  their  wealth  and  ancestry, 
were  absprbed  in  the  enjoyment  of  luxuries,  and,  by  a 


4:8  CONFLICrr   OB*   THE   ROMANS  ANt)   TlJUTONfi. 

long  exercise  of  power,  had  come  to  look  upon  the  high 
magistracies  and  seats  of  emolument  as  belonging' by 
right  to  their  caste. 

As  Cato,  in  a  speech  before  the  Koman  Senate,  tersely 
expressed  it :  "In  the  place  of  the  virtues  of  our  ancestors 
we  have  avarice  and  extravagance ;  wo  jn^aise  the  wealthy 
and  honor  idleness ;  between  the  good  and  the  bad  there 
is  no  distinction,  and  all  tlie  rewards  due  to  merit  are 
bestowed  upon  the  unworthy.  Since  every  man  with- 
draws himself  from  public  interests,  consulting  only  his 
own,  should  we  be  astonished  at  the  state  of  our  country's 
affairs?  At  home  slaves  to  voluptuousness,  in  the  Senate 
slaves  to  wealth  and  favoritism." 

Rome  demanded  and  received  her  share  of  the  gain  of 
the  known  world.  Her  ships  sailed  the  waters  of  every 
known  sea,  laden  with  trophies  and  spoils  from  every 

While  riches  flowed  in  rivers  into  the  public  coffers^ . 
immense  fortunes  were  amassed  by  individuals,  military 
commanders  and  state  officers.    Thousands  of  slaves  were 
sold  to  work  in  the  fields  in  chains  by  day,  and  to  sleep  in 
dungeons  at  n^ght,  to  prevent  their  escape. 

In  the  houses  of  the  powerful  and  wealthy,  learned 
Greek  captives  w^ere  retained  as  school-masters,  sophists, 
sculptors,  pamters  and  poets. 

Splendor  in  dress  and  equipage,  and  extravagance  in 
every  form  prevailed  among  the  ruling  classes. 

Private  residences  were  erected  at  a  fabulous  expend- 
iture, with  immense  columns  of  black  porphyry,  floors 
in  mosaic,  the  inner  walls  covered  with  paintings,  and  ceil- 
ings adorned  with  gilding  and  carving  in  ivory. 

Upon  their  villas    imagination    Avas  taxed  to  lavish 


wealth.  Gardens  bloomed  in  tropical  splendor,  and  \  ivks 
stocked  with  wild  animals,  which  at  sumptuous  feasts  were 
called  from  the  wood  by  slaves,  dressed  as  Orpheus  play- 
ing the  lyre.  At  their  principal  meal,  reclining  upon 
couches,  seven  courses,  with  wines,  desserts  and  fruits,  were 

The  elevating  ideas  of  the  mythology  of  their  fore- 
fathers had  given  place  to  sculptured  marbles  and  taxing 
shrines.  Belief  in  the  dead  pagan  gods  had  perished  and 
the  Koman  had  no  God  at  all  to  look  up  to. 

Steeped  in  pleasure,  given  up  to  a  life  of  licentiousness^ 
Bome  had  become  the  sink  into  which  every  polluted 
stream  flowed. 

Such  is  the  superficially  drawn  picture  of  the  political 
and  social  condition  of  Eonie  at  the  time  of  her  first  en- 
counter with  the  primitive  children  of  the  Northern  for- 
est— the  Teutonic  tribes. 

Kingsley  has  beautifully  illustrated  the  five  hundred 
years  of  contention  between  the  cool,  false,  politic  Roman, 
grown  gray  in  the  experience  of  the  forum  and  the  camp, 
and  this  fresh  young  barbarian  of  the  German  wilds. 

Fancy  to  yourself  a  Troll-garden — ^a  fairy  palace,  with 
a  fairy  garden — and  all  around  primeval  forests.  With- 
in the  garden  dwell  the  cunning  and  wicked  Trolls,  watch- 
ing their  fairy  treasures  and  making  rare  and  strange 
things  at  their  magic  forges.  Without,  in  the  forest,  are 
such  children  as  the  world  had  never  seen  before — children 
in  frankness,  purity,  love,  tenderness  of  conscience  and 
devout  awe  of  the  unseen — children  too  in  fanc}'^,  ignorance, 
jealousy,  quarrelsomeness  and  the  desire  for  excitement 
and  adventure — the  mere  sport  of  overflowing  animal 
health.    They  play  unharmed  with  the  forest  beasts ;  but, 


finally,  the  forest  becomes  too  dull  and  too  poor  for  them, 
and  they  approach  the  Troll-garden  and  begin  to  wonder 
what  is  inside.  It  is  easy  to  imagine  what  would  happen. 
Some  of  the  boldest  clamber  in ;  some  the  Trolls  steal  and 
carry  into  the  palace.  Few  escape,  but  enough  to  tell  how 
tlie  Trolls  killed  their  companions,  and  of  the  marvelous 
things  to  be  seen  in  the  palace, — shoes  of  swiftness,  swords 
of  sharpness,  and  caps  of  darkness;  of  charmed  harps, 
charmed  jewels,  and,  above  all,  of  the  charmed  wine ;  and 
after  all  the  Trolls  were  kind  to  them — see  the  fime  clothes 
given  them — and  they  strut  proudly  before  their  marvel- 
ing comrades.  They  return,  but  not  alone.  So  the  fame 
of  the  Troll-garden  spreads ;  and  more  and  more  hurry 
away  and  steal  in.  They  become  as  the  Trolls,  vain, 
lustful  and  slavish. 

But  their  better  nature  flashes  out  at  times.  They  will 
not  be  the  slaves  and  brutes  the  Trolls  would  have  them ; 
they  rebel,  escape,  and  tell  of  the  wickedness  of  the  foul 
palace.  Great  indignation  arises,  and  war  between  the 
Trolls  and  the  forest- children  follows.  Still  the  Trolls 
can  tempt  and  bribe  the  greedier  or  the  more  vain ;  and 
still  the  wonders  inside  haunt  their  minds,  till  it  becomes 
a  fixed  idea  among  them  all,  to  conquer  the  garden  for 
themselves,  to  dress  themselves  in  fine  clothes  and  drink 
their  fill  of  that  maddening  wine. 

Again  and  again  they  break  in,  but  the  Trolls  drive 
them  out,  rebuild  their  walls,  till  the  boys  of  the  forest 
have  become  youths,  and  the  youths  men,  and  still  the 
garden  is  not  conquered.  The  Trolls  have  grown  old  and 
weak,  and  their  walls  are  crumbling  away.  The  forest 
warriors  still  menace  and  defy  them.  They  may  succeed 
this  time  or  the  next. 


And  at  last  they  do  succeed !  The  walls  are  breached, 
the  fairy  palace  stormed,  the  Trolls  conquered;  old, 
jewels,  robes  and  arms  —  all  that  the  palace  holds — will 
be  theirs,  except  their  cunning. 

As  each  struggles  into  the  charmed  garden  the  spell 
falls  upon  him.  He  drinks,  fills  his  arms  with  precious 
trumpery,  while  another  snatches  it  from  him.  Each 
envies  his  comrade  before  him,  crying :  "Why  did  I  not 
enter  first?"  And  the  Trolls  set  one  against  the  other, 
and  split  them  into  parties,  and  mad  with  jealousy  and 
wine,  till  they  scarce  knew  why,  they  fall  upon  each  other 
and  upon  all  others  who  are  crowding  in  from  the  forest, 
and  they  fight  up  and  down  the  palace  halls,  and  the  Trolls 
look  on  and  laugh  and  still  urge  them  on  in  this  unnatural 
war,  till  the  garden  is  trampled  into  dust,  their  finery  de- 
stroyed, and  the  pavement  slippery  with  kindred's  blood. 
When  the  horrible  dream  is  passed  and  the  wine  is  out  of 
them,  the  survivors  stare  shamefully  and  sadly  around. 
What  a  desolate,  tottering  ruin  the  fairy  palace  has  be- 
come !  Have  they  spoiled  it  themselves  ?  And  what  has 
become  of  the  treasure  ?  No  man  knows.  Nothing  is 
left  but  recrimination  and  remorse.  And  they  wander 
back  into  the  forest,  away  from  the  doleful  ruin,  carrion- 
strewn,  to  sulk,  each  apart,  over  some  petty  spoil  which  he 
has  saved  from  the  general  wreck,  each  hating  and  dread- 
ing the  sound  of  his  neighbor's  footstep. 

This  is  neither  more  nor  less  than  the  story  of  the 
Teutonic  tribes,  and  how  they  overthrew  the  Empire  of 
Kome.  Neither  the  picture  of  the  dazzling  splendor  of  the 
garden,  the  soft,  beguiling  character  of  its  inmates,  nor 
the  susceptible,  passion-enslaved  period  of  its  conquerors 
is  overdrawn. 


Therefore,  when  Tacitus,  at  the  beginning  of  the  en- 
counters between  his  countrymen  and  this  strong  young 
race,  saw  that  sooner  or  later  the  fate  of  Kome  might  rest 
in  their  hands,  he  sought  by  extolling  their  virtues,  their 
phj'sical  power,  their  unparalleled  reproduction,  to  warn 
the  Romans  of  their  threatened  danger,  Avhich  had  be- 
come a  brooding  certainty  in  his  own  far-seeing  mind.  It 
came,  after  many  years,  about  in  this  way : 

It  must  not  be  forgotten  by  the  reader  that  the 
Eomans  at  this  period  were  absorbed  in  the  conquest  of 
territory;  that  Rome  might  be  fitly  compared  to  an  im- 
mense military  camp,  with  its  concomitants.  To  satisfy 
the  needs  of  the  garrison,  and  keep  bright  and  burning  the 
adventurous  spirit  of  their  legions,  the  generals  were 
always  in  a  quandary  to  know  what  country  to  rob  and  en- 
slave next. 

Besides  the  regular  foraging  armies  under  their  imme- 
diate commands,  the  conquered  provinces  were  placed  un- 
der the  charge  of  consuls  or  military  oflScers,  provided 
with  a  force  large  enough  to  insure  a  speedy  collection  of 
the  tribute  demand. 

After  the  decisive  battle  with  the  Roman  general  Ma- 
rius,  before  mentioned,  the  next  important  action  against 
the  Germanic  tribes  was  59  b.  o.,  when  Csesar  was  gov- 
ernor of  Gaul.  Some  dispute  having  arisen  between  the 
Teutons,  who,  under  the  leadership  of  Ariovistus,  had 
settled  in  large  numbers  upon  territory  west  of  the  Rhine, 
and  the  tribes  of  Gaul,  Caesar  was  called  in  to  settle  it. 

Before  the  battle  which  followed,  at  what  is  now 
known  as  the  city  of  Besangon,  in  Lower  Alsace,  it  is  re- 
lated that  the  badgering  German  chief  asked  Csesar  "  if  he 
knew  what  stuff  his  opponents  were  made  of,"  adding 

coNFLicrr  OF  the  komans  and  TEirroNs.  55 

"  they  were  warriors  who  had  not  slept  under  a  roof  for 
four  years." 

Notwithstanding  the  boasting  of  Ariovistus,the  weather- 
erhardened  barbarians  were  not  a  match  for  the  mettle- 
some and  war-begrimed  Komans,  an'd  the  result  was  a  de- 
feat for  the  German  tribes  engaged,  who  were  compelled 
to  retire  to  the  east  bank  of  the  Rhine.  During  the  suc- 
ceeding years  of  Caesar's  government  of  Gaul  he  crossed 
into  German  territory  twice,  but  was  unable  to  hold  his 
ground  or  subject  its  people. 

Not  until  the  appointment  of  Claudius  Drusus,  13  b.  c, 
as  governor  of  Gaul  were  any  noticeable  advantages 
gained  over  the  German  tribes  by  the  Romans.  It  is 
claimed  that  he  made  the  way  possible  by  digging  a  canal 
from  the  Rhine  to  the  Yssel,  through  which  he  was  en- 
abled to  reach  the  North  Sea  with  transports  of  troops. 

From  this  and  the  fact  that  10  b.  0.  other  victories 
were  won,  it  would  seem  that  the  first  real  lodgement 
made  by  the  Romans  upon  German  territory  was  under 
Drusus.  The  far-seeing  general,  discovering  the  capabih- 
ties  of  the  young  and  valorous  race,  and  already  aware  of 
their  dream  of  avenging  the  slaughter  of  their  forefathers 
by  Marius,  through  his  diplomatic  and  generous  treatment 
of  them,  succeeded  in  persuading  numbers  of  chiefs,  and 
princelings  with  their  retinues  to  enter  the  Roman  military 

During  the  subsequent  eighteen  years  of  Roman  occu- 
pation in  Germany,  more  or  less  friendly  relations  existed 
between  the  conquered  and  their  conquerors. 

Upon  the  adoption  of  Tiberius  by  the  Emperor  Au- 
gustus as  his  heir,  he  was  sent  into  Germany,  where  he 
gained  some  small  victories;  but  it  was  through  the  des- 


potic  and  meddlesome  course  of  Quintilius  Varus,  who 
had  been  charged  by  the  first  Emperor  to  bring  the  Ger- 
man tribes  under  subjection,  that  Roman  dominion  was 
forever  terminated  in  German3^  He  began  to  annoy  and 
irritate  the  people  by  dogmatically  interfering  with  their 
primitive  habits  and  customs,  which  they  preferred  to 
tliose  of  the  Eomans.  He  compelled  them  to  relinquish 
the  time-honored  usage  of  administering  their  laws  and 
justice  through  their  own  elected  or  appointed  officials. 
He  demanded  that  all  German  litigants  appear  before 
Homan  judges  opposed  by  Boman  counsel. 

This  was  a  tyranny  not  to  be  borne  by  a  proud  people 
who  had  definite  laws,  founded  upon  the  deep  and  broad 
principle  of  justice  to  all  I 

Again,  he  exacted  exorbitant  tribute  from  the  different 
German  tribes.  Eecalling  all  the  former  indignities  suf- 
fered at  the  hands  of  the  Eomans,  the  treatment  captives 
taken  in  war  had  received,  the  pollution  of  their  wives  and 
daughters  sold  into  slavery,  they  were  at  last  aroused  to 
swift,  determined  action. 

In  response  to  this  sentiment  the  noted  chiefs  assem- 
bled in  secret  and  resolved  on  war.  Arminius,  a  Che- 
ruscian  prince,  but  twenty-five  years  old,  who  had  learned 
the  art  of  Avar  in  the  Eoman  army,  but  had  remained 
loyal  to  his  people  and  native  land,  placed  himself  at  the 
head  of  the  movement. 

To  induce  a  large  number  of  tribes,  living  independent 
of  each  other  to  join  an  enterprise  so  dangerous  was  not 
an  easy  task;  Arminius,  however,  accomplished  it  with- 
out arousing  the  suspicion  of  Varus. 

When  Varus  was  informed  that  a  tribe  in  the  interior 
had  rebelled  against  Eoman  authority,and  had  slaughtered 


many  Boman  soldiers,  he  marched  against  the  insurgents 
with  three  of  his  most  trusted  legions,  ordering  his  Ger- 
man auxilliary,  Amiinius,  to  follow  and  assist  him. 
Arminius  promptly  executed  the  first  order — that  was, 
to  call  out  his  command,  but  instead  of  assisting  Varus, 
he  lead  his  troops  to  the  rendezvous  of  his  German  con- 

Incumbered  with  an  immense  train  of  wagons,  pack- 
animals,  camp-followers,  women  and  children.  Varus  left 
his  camp  on  the  Weser  at  the  end  of  October,  9  a.  d. 
Marching  his  troops  in  a  southwesterly  direction,  a  few 
days  after  he  reached  the  swampy,  pathless  region  of  the 
Teutoburger  forest,  in  the  vicinity  of  Detmold  on  the 
"Wirre — the  point  agreed  upon  by  the  German  confeder- 
ates for  a  general  onslaught. 

Before  fully  realizing  their  danger,  and  before  they 
were  able  to  form  into  compact  lines,  the  Romans  found 
themselves  surrounded  and  assailed  from  all  sides.  The 
impetuosity  of  attack  completed  the  confusion,  and  forced 
the  Roman  soldiers  to  an  unequal  hand-to-hand  combat 
with  an  enemy,  vastly  their  superiors  in  bodily  strength 
and  agility. 

The  Romans  fought  with  the  fierceness  of  desperation, 
but  after  three  days  of  terrible  slaughter  but  few.  were 
left  to  tell  the  story  of  their  disaster.  Varus,  himself  un- 
willing to  survive  the  destruction  of  his  legions,  threw 
himself  upon  his  sword  and  perished. 

This  memorable  battle,  which  forms  a  great  episode 
in  the  national  life  of  Germany,  forever  put  an  end  to 
Roman  dominion  over  the  Teutons.  The  real  merit  of 
Arminius'  success  lay  not  so  much  in  the  strategy  and  valor 
he  displayed  in  gaining  the  victory  as  in  the  wisdom  and 

58  ooiTFUGrr  of  the  bomans  and  teutons. 

sagacity  with  which  he  accomplished  the  unification  of 
the  various  tribes  in  a  contest  for  hearth  and  home.  Had 
this  great  event  served  the  Germans  as  an  unforgotten  les- 
son, they  would  have  spared  themselves  many  centuries 
of  misery  and  degradation. 

The  crushing  defeat  of  Varus  had  a  very  demoralizing 
effect  upon  the  Romans,  Augustus,  the  Emperor,  shutting 
himself  up  for  seveiul  days,  and  crying,  "  Varus,  Varus, 
give  me  back  my  legions."  Had  Arminius  chosen  to 
follow  up  his  victory  by  pushing  across  the  Rhine  and 
attacking  the  Roman  province  of  Gaul,  he  could  have  ex- 
acted from  Germany's  enemy  such  terms  as  would  have 
prevented  the  desecration  of  her  soil  ever  after  by  Roman 

But,  satisfied  with  the  decisive  result  of  the  Teutoberger 
Wald,  he  ordered  the  tribes  to  return  to  their  homes,  to 
engage  in  the  arts  of  peace.  During  the  following  five 
years  the  Romans  made  no  further  attempt  to  recover 
their  lost  ground,  but  confined  their  military  operations 
to  strengthening  their  position  on  the  west  side  of  the 

As  with  all  victorious  people,  barbarians  or  otherwise, 
when  the  common  enemy  had  disappeared  the  conquerors 
fell  to  quarreling  among  themselves.  Such  jealousies  as 
the  right  of  precedence  in  the  councils,  rivalries  between 
the  pnnces  of  the  various  tribes  for  seniority  in  command, 
and  other  disputes  concerning  the  territorial  limits  of 
each  tribe — in  short,  thousands  of  questions  such  as  a 
newly  correlating  people  would  be  called  upon  to  settle — 
kept  their  fighting  propensities  from  gathering  rust  and 
going  to  decay. 

With  the  exception  of  the  Marcomanni^  which  had  fol- 


lowed  Ariovistus  into  Gaul,  but  had  been  driven  back  by 
Julius  Caesar,  most  of  the  strongest  tribes  acknowl- 
edged Arrainius  as  their  leader.  Marodobuus,  the  chief 
of  the  Marcoraanni,  who  had  been  educated  in  Kome  with 
Arminius,  but  had  not  taken  part  in  the  Teutoberger 
Wald,  Arminius  suspected  of  coldness  towards  their  com- 
mon country,  with  a  corresponding  warmth  of  feeling  for 
their  common  enemy,  the  Romans.  He  looked  with 
jealousy  upon  Marodobuus'  efforts  to  extend  the  boundary 
line  of  the  Maroomanni,  and  the  increasing  of  his  military 
force.  Arminius  even  suspected  him  of  nursing  an  am- 
bition to  become  "  King  of  the  Germans.'* 

These  dissensions,  with  the  fact  that  Segestes,  the 
father-in-Liw  of  Arminius,  had  succeeded  in  creating  a 
seditious  feeling  among  the  Cheruscians,  Arminius'  tribe, 
having  reached  Rome,  about  the  time  of  Tiberius'  suc- 
cession, 14  A.  D.,  Tiberius  resolved  to  seize  this  favorable 
opportunity  to  avenge  the  defeat  of  Varus. 

Accordingly,  Germanicus,  the  son  of  Claudius  Drusus, 
m  command  of  the  Roman  army  in  Gaul,  was  ordered  to 
cross  the  Rhine.  His  legions  coming  upon  the  tribe 
Marsi,  while  celebrating  an  evening  festival,  they  were 
completely  routed.  The  following  spring,  15  a.  d.,  he 
entered  the  territory  of  the  Chauci  and  devastated  their 
country.  Segestes,  from  whom  Arminius  had  stolen  his 
daughter  Thusnelda,  and  made  her  his  wife,  being  at  war 
with  bis  son-in-law,  asked  the  Romans  to  come  to  his 
rescue.  Germanicus,  who  had  been  appointed  command- 
er-in-chief of  all  the  legions  in  Gaul,  hastened  to  the 
relief  of  Segestes,  routed  the  besieging  force  of  Arminius, 
and  upon  entering  the  delivered  town  of  Segestesburg, 
took  many  women  prisoners,  among  them  Thusnelda,  who 
was  delivered    to    Germanicus  from   her   father's  own 

60  ooNFucrr  of  the  eomans  and  teutons. 

hands.  She  was  taken  captive  to  Eome,  where  a  son  was 
born  to  her,  whom  she  called  Thumelicus.  Two  years 
after,  the  barbarian  queen,  leading  her  little  son,  graced 
the  triumphal  procession  unwillingly  granted  Germanicus 
by  his  uncle,  Tiberius,  who  had  become  jealous  of  Ger- 
manicus' renow^ned  generalship  in  Germany.  In  order  to 
further  humiliate  and  distress  Thusnelda,  and  degrade 
the  son  of  the  great  Arminius,  Thumelicus  was  placed 
in  the  school  of  the  gladiators  at  Ravenna.  This  story  of 
Thusnelda's  wrongs  has  furnished  an  ever  beautiful  theme 
for  German  poet  and  artist  from  that  day  to  this. 

In  the  year  16  a.d.,  Germanicus  returned  to  Germany, 
determined  to  retrieve  the  loss  he  had  sustained  in  being 
compelled  by  Arminius  to  retreat,  after  losing  his  cavalry 
and  almost  the  four  legions  under  Coecina.  With  an 
army  of  a  hundred  thousand  men  and  a  thousand  vessels 
he  reached  the  Weser.  Between  the  present  towns  of 
Hameln  and  Rinteln,  on  the  '^  Nymphemjoiese^^^  the  two 
great  warriors  met,  Arminius  to  be  revenged  for  his 
wrongs,  and  Germanicus  to  make  one  more  effoiii  to  sub- 
due this  unconquerable  race.  At  first  the  Germans  were 
supposed  to  be  beaten,  but  rallying,  the  next  day,  com- 
pelled the  Romans  to  fly.  This  is  claimed  to  be  the 
greatest  battle  ever  fought  between  the  Romans  and  the 
Germans.  It  was  the  last  time  the  Romans  ventured  to 
cross  the  Rhine.  Arminius  is,  therefore,  considered  the 
greatest  hero  of  ancient  Germany;  but,  great  and  patri- 
otic and  far-seeing  as  he  was,  he  perished  through  the 
treachery  of  a  relative,  at  the  age  of  thirty-seven. 

It  now  became  evident  to  the  Roman  Government, 
that  though  apparently  friendly,  these  northern  barbarians 
were  endowed  with  immeasurable  powers  of  physical  and 
intellectual  resistance.    If  united  into  one  great  brother- 


hood,  a  result  they  seemed  to  be  slowly  approaching,  not- 
withstanding their  internal  wars,  they  would  not  only  be 
able  to  maintain  their  independence,  but  would  become 
dangerous  neighbors  to  the  Roman-Gallic  provinces  across 
the  Khine.  In  coping  with  single  tribes  the  Boman  legions 
were  always  victorious,  as  in  the  subjugation  of  the  Suev- 
ians,  the  Helvetians,  the  Marsi,  the  Cheruscians,  and  even 
the  powerful  tribe  of  Maroommani ;  but  with  all  the  armed 
force  which  Rome  could  concentrate  upon  Germany's 
boundary,  the  Rhine,  the  German  people,  collectively, 
could  not  be  brought  under  Roman  subjection. 

A  change  of  policy  was  therefore  resolved  upon,  both 
in  military  tactics  and  in  the  civil  treatment  of  the  various 

The  great  natural  defects  of  the  German  character  — 
petty  jealousy,  quarrelsomeness  and  stubbornness  in  mat- 
ters of  trifling  import  —  were  well  known  to  the  crafty 
Romans.  To  take  advantage  of  these  became  the  policy 
of  Rome.  Divide  et  itnpera  was  resolved  upon.  Thus,  in 
heaping  honors  and  favors  upon  one  tribe,  the  enmity  and 
jealousy  of  the  neglected  tribe  was  excited. 

Feuds,  says  Menzel,  broke  out  between  brother  tribes  in 
the  interior,  the  defeated  chiefs  finding  a  welcome  asylum 
in  Rome.  So  fierce  became  this  civil  war  that  whole  tribes 
were  annihilated,  nevermore  to  appear  upon  the  page  of  his- 
tory. Such  was  the  fate  of  the  Cheruscians, the  tribe  which 
formed  the  nucleus  of  Arminius'  union  against  Varus. 

In  describing  the  onslaught  of  one  neighboring  tribe 
upon  the  other,  in  which  sixty  thousand  of  the  vanquished 
were  left  upon  the  battle-field,  Tacitus  concludes  with  the 
following  invocation: 

"  May  dissension  ever  reign  among  the  Germans,  and 
thus  prevent  the  danger  with  which  they  threaten  Rome." 

^  I 


But  hatred  of  Roman  rule  among  the  Germans  was  not 
dead,  however  much  they  warred  among  themselves. 
About  70  A.  D.  there  appeared  at  Batavia  a  young  patriot 
who  was  afterwards  called  Civilis,  because  he  was  "a  friend 
of  the  people."  Suspected  of  loyalty  to  the  Germans,  he, 
in  company  with  his  brothers,  was  thrown  into  [)rison. 

They  were  beheaded,  but  Civilis  was  shown  more  favor, 
and  afterwards  released.  Filled  with  revenge,  and  swear- 
ing not  to  trim  his  beard  or  cut  liis  hair  until  his  fellow- 
countrj^men  should  cast  oflf  the  Roman  yoke,  he  sought  the 
occasion  of  a  midnight  feast  to  excite  them,  by  his  elo- 
quence, to  determined  action.  Hostilities  soon  after 
began.  The  Germans  serving  in  the  Roman  army 
deserted  in  great  numbers  and  joined  their  friends.  The 
allies  prospered,  until  Cerealis,  the  great  Roman  general, 
was  sent  into  Gaul  with  a  fresh  army.  Although  the 
Gauls  had  joined  Civilis  they  were  easily  reconquered,  and 
in  the  battles  which  followed  Civilis  was  forced  to  retreat 
to  the  Batavi an  islands,  where  says,  Menzel,  "he  opened 
the  canals  and  caused  a  great  inundation,  by  means  of 
which  he  long  bade  defiance  to  the  enemy.  But,  finding 
opposition  unavailing,  and  honorable  conditions  being 
offered,  he  at  length  concluded  a  peace.  His  name  was 
honored  by  both  friends  and  enemies." 

It  was  at  this  time  that  Tacitus  penned  the  following 

"  For  nearly  two  hundred  and  ten  years  have  we  been 
conquering  Germany.  In  a  period  of  time  so  lengthened 
many  have  been  the  blows  and  disasters  suffered  on  both 
sides.  In  truth,  neither  from  the  Samnites,  nor  from  the 
Carthaginians,  nor  from  both  Spains,  nor  from  all  the 
nations  of  Gaul,  have  we  received  more  frequent  checks  and 
alarms :  for  more  invincible  is  the  liberty  of  the  Germans 


than  the  monarchy  of  the  Arsacides;  for  what  has  the  power 
of  the  East  to  allege  to  our  dishonor  except  the  fall  of 
Crassus?  But  by  the  Germans  the  Bomans  have  been 
bereft  of  five  armies,  all  commanded  by  consuls;  these 
commanders,  Carbo  and  Cassius,  Scaurus  Aurelius  and 
ServiliusCaspio,  as  well  as  Marcus  Manlius,  all  were  routed 
or  taken  by  the  Gennans,  not  to  forget  the  Emperor 
Augustus,  who  was  bereft  of  Varus  and  three  legions. 
Not  without  great  difficulty  and  loss  of  men  wei'e  the 
Germans  defeated  by  Marius  in  Italy,  or  by  the  deified 
Julius  in  Gaul,  or  by  Drusus  or  Tiberius,  and  soon  after 
the  mighty  menaces  of  Caligula  ended  in  mockery  and 

During  the  twenty  years  following  the  peace  of  Civilis, 
Rome  confined  her  operations  to  strengthening  her  posses- 
sions on  the  Upper  and  Lower  Rhine.  Her  cities  were 
ruled  by  governors  who  were  appointed  by  the  Roman 
Emperor  and  were  only  responsible  to  him  personally. 

The  great  object  of  Trajan  was  to  Romanize  the  prov- 
inces lying  on  the  frontiers  of  Germany.  "  Fortifications 
along  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine  and  the  right  bank  of  the 
Danube,"  says  Menzel,  "  virtually  surrounded  the  frontier 
of  the  Roman  empire  with  a  chain  of  bristling  castles. 
Watch-towers  overlooking  the  distant  country  were  con- 
structed. The  Rhine  and  Danube  generally  marked  the 
boundary.  Their  banks  were  thickly  studded  with  fortified 
towns,  their  streams  made  passable  by  bridges,  and  their 
roads  constructed  along  the  edge  of  the  mountains,  in 
order  to  secure  a  garrison  against  sudden  attacks  from  the 
ambushed  enemy." 

A  militarv  road  was  constructed  from  the  Neckar  to 
Regensburg,  lined  with  permanent  intrenchments,  inter- 
spersed with  hundreds  of  towers,  built  of  heavy  masonry, 


of  which  some  of  the  ruins  may  be  seen  to  this  day.  They 
are  called  by  the  people  "  Pagan  Works,"  or  the  "  Devil's 
Wall."  Roman  culture  —  that  is,  Roman  extravagance 
and  levity  in  morals  —  began  to  be  introduced  into  the 
provinces.  The  Germans  were  seduced  from  their  prim- 
itive ways,  and  their  sons  were  persuaded  to  join  the 
Roman  legions.  Theaters  were  built,  palaces,  amphithe- 
aters— everything  to  attract  the  barbarian  from  his  deep, 
dark  forest  home  and  his  simple  life  of  independence. 

At  tFie  beginning  of  the  second  century  a.  d.  the  numer- 
ous tribes  had  been  practically  consolidated  into  four  dis- 
tinct groups :  the  Franks,  the  Saxons,  the  Alemanni  and 
the  Goths.  In  this  consolidation  they  lost,  in  a  degree, 
their  old  tribal  independence.  The  management  of  their 
public  affairs  fell  into  the  hands  of  a  principal  chief,  and 
by  gradual  degrees  a  king  was  evolved — a  petty  king,  but 
a  king,  nevertheless.  The  Saxons  alone  preserved  their 
tribal  autonomy. 

This  union  naturally  nursed  the  new  feeling  of  nation- 
alism,  and  emboldened  them  to  make  united  and  frequent 
attacks  upon  the  Roman  provinces  bordering  their  terri- 
tory. The  Romans,  however,  began  to  have  a  wholesome 
fe^r  of  their  restive  enemies,  and  ventured  no  more  across 
the  Rhine  nor  in  boats  upon  the  North  Sea.  But  to  the 
southeast,  along  the  Adriatic,  where  the  Germans  did  not 
expect  them  and  were  not  prepared,  Marcus  Aurelius 
(Antoninus)  renewed  hostilities  in  person  about  168  a.  d. 
He  was  met  by  the  strong  forces  of  the  Marcomanni, 
Alani  and  Sarmatians,  and  was  driven  back  to  the  frontier. 
For  the  next  five  years  Antoninus  remained  at  his  post, 
giving  and  receiving  battle,  without  once  visiting  Rome. 
It  was  during  this  period  that  the  great  battle  renowned 
in  history  was  fought  upon  the  frozen  Danube,  the  Romans 

cwNFUcrr  op  the  Romans  and  teutons.  09 

driving  their  enemy  far  into  Hungary.  A  later  vic- 
tory in  the  same  campaign  the  Bomans  ascribed  to  Jupiter 
Tonans,  because  when  the  engagement  was  at  its  height  a 
terrific  thunderstorm  overtook  the  armies  and  put  to 
route  the  superstitious  barbarians. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  third  century  a  movement 
against  the  Romans  began  in  another  part  of  Germany, 
near  the  borders  of  Switzerland.  The  Alemanni  collected 
a  large  force  and  descended  upon  the  territory  known  as 
the  ''  Black  Forest,"  then  tributary  to  Rome.  They  pil- 
laged and  destroyed  everything  in  their  course.  They 
were  not  successfully  checked  until  met  by  the  Emperor 
Maximin,  a  Goth,  who  had  been  raised  to  the  imperial 
throne  by  the  Roman  army,  large  numbers  of  which  w^ere 
Germans.  In  order  to  prove  that  he  had  renounced  his 
country  and  kindred,  and  was  a  thorough  Roman,  he  car- 
ried war  and  desolation  into  the  very  heart  of  his  native 
land.  His  rapacity  and  cruelty  finally  brought  down 
upon  him  the  indignation  of  his  troops,  who  assassinated 
him  and  his  son  at  the  siege  of  Aquileia.* 

From  now  on,  the  right  bank  of  the  river  Rhine, 
with  few  interruptions,  remained  in  the  hands  of  the  Ger- 
mans. About  the  same  time  the  Franks  broke  into  Gaul, 
the  Romans  being  unable  to  oppose  any  effective  resist- 
ance. In  the  same  manner  the  Alemanni,  roving  over  the 
country,  now  plunging  into  Gaul,  now  into  Roman  terri- 
tory about  the  Alps,  encouraged  the  Goths  to  work  over 
into  Dacia  (the  Wallachia  and  Moldavia  of  to-day),  defeat- 
ing the  Roman  army  and  killing  the  Emi)eror  Dacius, 
after  which  the  Goths  permanently  occupied  the  country. 
This  took  place  in  the  year  251  a.  d. 

The  Roman  Government,  which  since  the  fall  of  the 
Republic  had  been  the  costly  bauble  of  a  few  ambitious 


families  ready  to  commit  any  deed  of  darkness  to  clothe 
themselves  in  the  "  imperial  purple,"  was  still  counte- 
nancing such  customs,  upholding  such  institutions  and 
disregarding  such  appeals  for  justice  as  eventually  bring 
decay  upon  aiiy  nation. 

During  the  following  fifty  years  the  various  German 
tribes,  becoming  more  aggressive,  of tener  made  substantial 
inroads  upon  Roman  territory ;  but  no  event  of  sufficient 
magnitude  occurred  to  interest  the  American  reader  until 
about  325  a.  d.,  when  the  Emperor  Constantino  conceived 
the  idea  of  elevating  to  the  dignity  of  a  state  religion 
the  doctrine  "  to  render  unto  Caesar  what  belonged  to 
Csasar."  These  unruly  barbarian  subjects,  as  well  as  the 
meek  and  lowly,  must  hereafter  be  brought  to  submit  to 
the  strong  and  powerful,  in  return  for  which  injustice  and 
oppression  here  they  were  to  be  rewarded  hereafter  in 

A  change  in  the  religion  of  a  people  requiring  time,  in 
order  to  save  the  capital  of  the  Roman  Empire  from  the 
aggressive  movements  of  the  Goths  on  the  Danube,  the 
Persians  in  Asia  Minor,  and  other  tribes  to  the  north,  the 
seat  of  government  was  changed  in  330  a.  d.  from  Rome 
to  Byzantium  (Constantinople).  From  this  epoch,  it  is 
claimed,  Roman  ascendancy  began  to  cease.  Constantine, 
surrounding  himself  with  an  arm}'-  of  300,000  regulars,  and 
reviving  all  the  pomp  and  splendor  of  Oriental  courts, 
actually  believed  he  had  saved  his  country  and  reestab- 
lished her  upon  the  throne  of  the  world's  empire.  But  he 
had  not  reckoned  upon  the  great  migration  of  peoples 
which  was  soon  to  take  place  all  over  Europe.  As  Kings- 
ley  describes  this  period  between  400  and  500  a.  d.:  "It 
was  like  the  working  of  an  ant  heap:  like  the  insects 
devouring  each  other  in  a  drop  of  water.    Teuton  tribes, 


Sclavonic  tribes,  Tartar  tribes,  Eoman  generals,  empresses, 
bishops,  courtiers,  adventurers,  appear  for  a  moment  out 
of  the  crowd  with  a  name  appended,  and  then  vanish, 
proving  their  humanity  only  by  leaving  behind  them 
another  stream  of  blood.  But  what  became  of  the  people, 
the  men-slaves —  the  greater  part  of  them  if  not  all  —  who 
tilled  the  soil  and  ground  the  com — for  man  must  have 
eaten  then  as  now  ?  We  have  no  hint.  One  trusts  that 
God  had  mercy  on  them,  for  man  had  none." 

The  first  real  impulse  to  this  great  human  deluge  was 
given  by  the  Huns  or  Tartar  tribes,  who  having  been 
walled  out  of  China  and,  unable  to  subsist  without  plun- 
der, were  forced  to  move  westward  in  search  of  other 
lands.  They  settled  on  the  borders  of  the  Caspian  Sea. 
They  are  described  as  a  raw-boned,  broad-shouldered,  flat- 
nosed,  yellow-skinned  people,  mounted  upon  small,  fleet 
horses,  to  which  the  Romans  thought  them  grown,  since 
they  were  known  to  live,  fight  and  sleep  on  their  steeds. 
They  attacked  their  enemies  with  irresistible  impetuosity 
and  deafening  yells ;  appearing  here,  there  and  everywhere 
at  the  same  time.  Without  fear  of  death,  wild  with 
impatience  to  possess  the  fair  territory  of  the  abundant 
Southwest,  they  crossed  the  Danube,  the  boundary  line  of 
the  Roman  fortifications,  destroying  everything  in  their 

Attila,  their  first  great  king,  with  a  will  as  iron  as  his 
body,  whom  the  Hunnish  tribes  clothed  with  supernatural 
powers,  led  them  triumphantly  on  to  deeds  of  plunder  and 
death.  Although  permitting  the  representative  chiefs  to 
live  in  luxury,  he  himself  practiced  the  discipline  of  a  stoic 
in  the  rigorous  and  abstemious  habits  of  his  daily  life. 
Dwelling  in  a  large  wooden  house  in  a  simple  manner,  at 
his  public  repasts,  while  his  guests  were  served  upon  plates 


of  gold  and  silver,  he  ate  from  wooden  dishes  and  drank 
from  wooden  cups.  Contrary  to  the  customs  of  the  Ori- 
ental semi-civilized  tribes,  he  permitted  his  wife  to  appear 
in  public  unveiled.  It  is  said  he  even  patronized  letters, 
by  employing  the  services  of  a  poet  to  accompany  him  on 
his  invasions,  to  chant  in  verse  his  deeds  of  valor  and 
prowess.  He  was  supreme  in  power,  serving  as  law-giver, 
judge,  and  often  executioner. 

Towards  individuals  he  was  sometimes  generous; 
towards  humanity  he  was  incapable  of  pity,  and,  there- 
fore, was  named  the  "  Scourge  of  God." 

Through  the  incursions  of  the  Huns  across  the  lower 
Danube,  the  tribes  throughout  the  eastern  and  middle 
portions  of .  Europe  were  set  in  motion.  As  one  wave  fol- 
lows another  upon  the  tempestuous  ocean,  so  the  fleeing 
peoples  swept  onward  to  escape  the  destroying  hordes  of 
Attila.  Once  in  motion  the  objective  point  of  all  the 
European  tribes  appears  to  have  been  the  fabled  country 
"  whose  cities  were  paved  with  gold,  where  they  might 
bathe,  eat,  and  see  twenty  thousand  gladiators  fight,  all  at 
the  public's  expense." 

The  Goths,  of  all  the  Teutonic  tribes  in  activity  at  this 
time,  seem  to  have  been  the  most  endowed  with  heroic 
attributes.  They  are  represented  as  "  a  tall,  fair-haired 
people,  clothed  in  shirts  and  smocks  of  linen,  w^ith  gaiters 
strapped  to  the  feet  with  bands  of  hide;  their  arms  and 
necks  encircled  with  gold  and  silver  rings ;  the  warriors 
of  the  upper  class  well  horsed,  and  armed  with  lance  and 
heavy  sword,  with  chain-mail  and  helmet,  well  plumed. 
Their  land  was  tilled  by  slaves,  usually  captives  taken  in 

The  Ostrogoth's  (East-goths)  country  stretched  from 
the  Volga  to  the  Bory  sthenes ;  the  Visigoth's  (West-goths) 





from  Borysthenes  to  the  Theiss.  Kingsley  says,  "  From 
the  great  German-Gothic  people,  now  much  intermixed, 
have  sprung  all  the  old  royal  families  of  Europe." 

As  early  as  245  a.  d.  the  Goths  had  tasted  the  fruits 
of  victory,  having  penetrated  as  far  as  Athens,  in  Greece, 
and  upon  their  return  to  the  steppes  and  snows  of  Eussia 
could  not  forget  the  beauty  and  wines  of  the  sunny  South. 

The  story  of  the  first  attack  of  the  Huns  upon  the 
Goths,  history  gives  as  follows :  About  350  a.  d.  Erman- 
aric.  King  of  the  Goths,  after  he  had  conquered  all  the 
surrounding  tribes,  and  was  a  hundred  years  old,  the  chief 
of  the  Eoxolani,  one  of  the  subjected  tribes,  plotted  against 
him  and  sent  for  the  Huns,  far  to  the  East,  on  the  confines 
of  Europe  and  Asia,  to  come  and  help  him.  Old  Ermana- 
ric  tore  the  traitor's  wife  in  pieces  with  wild  horses ;  but 
the  Huns  came  and  the  Goths  were  defeated,  when  old 
Ermanaric  stabbed  himself  and  died  for  shame. 

Twenty-five  years  after,  the  Goths,  unable  to  stand  the 
repeated  plundering  expeditions  of  the  Huns,  begged  the 
Eomans  to  allow  them  to  cross  the  Danube,  "  since  some 
among  them  had  embraced  Christianity."  The  Emperor 
Valens  gave  them  permission  to  come  provided  they  would 
embrace  Arianism,  a  religion  so  little  and  reasonably 
removed  from  paganism  that  it  could  be  accepted  with 
consistency  by  the  Goths. 

In  coming  over  they  were  to  give  up  their  arms,  and 
deliver  their  children  (those  of  rank)  as  hostages,  to  be 
educated  as  Romans.  Says  Kingsley  further :  "  They  were 
whole  days  crossing  the  Danube,  and  those  set  to  count 
them  gave  up  in  despair.  When  they  had  crossed,  they 
delivered  up  their  children,  but  kept  their  weapons, 
although  at  the  price  of  many  a  Gothic  woman's  honor." 
They  had  to  be  fed  until  they  could  cultivate  their  land, 


and  the  two  governors  of  Thrace,  who  were  to  provide 
food,  pocketed  thQ  money  and  starved  the  Goths.  A  little 
meat  cost  ten  pounds  of  silver,  and  when  aU  was  gone 
they  were  forced  to  sell  their  children  for  the  Roman  slave 
market.  At  last  the  end  came,  and  the  Romans  paid 
dearly  for  the  wickedness  of  Valens.  Alaric,  the  king  of 
the  Goths,  a  great  general,  after  nearing  many  times  and 
retreating,  and  nearing  again  the  great  city,  which  he 
believed  he  had  been  born  to  take,  at  the  head  of  all  the 
united  Gothic  tribes  marched  into  Italy ;  encamping  before 
the  w«alls  of  Rome,  his  army  waited  "  as  wolves  wait 
round  the  dying  buffalo." 

The  Romans,  though  starving  within,  boasted  of  their 
great  resources  and  numbers,  when  Alaric  cried  out  incred- 
ulously :  "  Come  out,  then ;  the  thicker  the  hay  the  easier 
mowed."  They,  however,  were  afraid  to  come  out,  and 
so  finally  sued  for  peace.  Alaric  consented  to  withdraw 
on  the  payment  "  of  5,000  pounds  of  gold,  30,000  pounds  of 
silver,  and  a  like  quantity  of  costly  articles  of  commerce, 
which  at  that  period  flowed  into  Rome  from  every  quarter 
of  the  known  world."  To  meet  this  demand  they  w^ere 
compelled  to  melt  the  golden  statue  of  victory,  in  Avhich 
fatality  the  Romans  foresaw  the  ruin  of  their  city. 

Alaric,  although  promising  a  respite  to  the  Romans  for 
a  time,  soon  found  a  pretext  for  renewing  his  operations. 
In  order  to  make  sure  of  an  entrance  into  Rome  he  is  said 
to  have  sent  three  liundred  German  slaves  to  wealthy 
families  as  presents,  who,  upon  A laric's  approach  with  his 
army,  opened  the  gates  at  night,  by  which  the  fabled 
city  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Gothic  king  on  the  24th  of 
August,  A.  D.  409. 

Says  the  historian  Menzel :  "  For  the  first  time  since 
the  invasion  of  Brennus,  390  b.  c,  the  capital  of  the  world 

ooNFUcrr  of  the  Romans  and  teutons.  77 

beheld  the  enemy  which  had  so  often  been  led  in  triumph 
through  her  streets  in  chains,  thrown  to  the  wild  beasts  in 
her  amphitheater,  or  doomed  to  cruel  slaverj'-,  now  appear 
as  a  bloody  and  inflexible  conqueror,  armed  with  the  sword 
of  vengeance,  repaying  all  the  crimes  committed  against 
the  liberties  of  nations  in  general,  and  against  the  Teutonic 
tribes  in  particular."  Soon  after  this  victory  the  great 
Alaric  died,  at  the  age  of  fifty-four.  To  provide  a  secret 
sepulcher,  the  river  Baseno  was  diverted  from  its  course, 
and  the  monarch  was  buried  with  immense  treasure  in  its 
bed,  after  which  the  stream  was  again  turned  into  its 
natural  channel.  About  this  time  the  Franks  and  Vandals 
had  conquered  Gaul,  and  partially  subdued  Spain.  The 
Vandals  soon  penetrated  as  far  as  Sicily,  and  later  the 
Suives  took  Spain  wholly.  Two  other  of  the  Teutonic 
tribes,  the  Saxons  and  Angles,  had  gone  over  to  the  assist- 
ance of  the  Britons,  who  had  been  attacked  by  the  Celtic- 
Picts  and  Scots.  After  driving  the  enemy  back  into  the 
mountains,  these  Angles  and  Saxons  remained  in  the  coun- 
try, not  having  taken  part  in  the  conquest  of  Rome,  and 
consequently  were  the  ancestors  of  the  English  of  to-day. 

In  point  of  sterling  qualities  the  Angles  did  not  com- 
pare with  the  Goths  and  other  Teutonic  tribes  of  the 
south  of  Europe. 

It  would  have  been  natural  to  suppose,  that,  in  becom- 
ing politically  united  with  other  races,  and  by  compulsion 
forced  to  adopt  other  customs  and  manners,  the  Gennans 
of  central  Europe  would  have  lost  many  of  their  natioucal 
peculiarities,  modes  of  thought,  and,  as  a  people,  have 
undergone  a  radical  change  in  characteristics.  But  such 
was  not  the  case.  They  strictly  maintained  the  spirit  of 
their  laws,  discouraged  the  marriage  of  Germans  Avith 
Romans,  and  the  adoption  of  their  unfamily  customs  of  life. 


The  next  great  movement  against  Kome  after  Alario's 
death  was  undertaken  by  Attila,  the  king  of  the  Hans. 
Kingsley  describes  the  battle  briefly  as  follows:  Val- 
entinian,  emperor  of  the  Eoman  empire,  had  confined  his 
sister  Honoria  in  a  convent  for  some  profligacy.  Sending 
her  ring  to  Attila,  he  decided  to  become  her  champion. 
Starting  for  Eome,  he  decided  to  try  Gaul  first;  into 
Gaul  he  poured  with  all  his  Tartar  hordes,  and  the  Teuton 
tribes  he  had  gathered  in  his  progress,  as  an  avalanche 
gathers  snow  in  its  course  from  the  mountain's  side. 

Under  Attila  were  Huns,  Sclavs,  Tartars,  Finns,  some 
Teutonic  tribes,  Turks,  East-Goths,  and  Lombards. 
Against  him  were  the  Eomans,  West -Goths,  Franks, 
Burgunds  and  the  Bretons  of  Amorica. 

Attila's  force  was  500,000  strong.  Destroying  the 
Eoman  fortifications  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Danube,  he 
swept  across  the  territory  now  known  as  Austria,  Bavaria 
and  Franconia.  A  protracted  seige  against  the  Eomans 
followed  at  Orleans,  which  was  raised  by  the  approach  of 
the  Soman  allies  under  command  of  Theodorick,  the 
Goth,  the  Eoman  forces  being  commanded  by  the  famous 
general  Aetius.  In  this  great  contest  which  was  to  fol- 
low, Germans  were  set  against  Germans,  and  Germans  ^ 
were  consequently  the  greatest  sufferers. 

The  battle  was  fought  on  the  plains  of  the  Mame, 
near  Chalons.  It  was  the  most  sanguinary  conflict  yet 
recorded  in  history,  and  is  called  in  German  Hunnenr 
schlacht  It  lasted  only  from  sun  to  sun,  but  so  great 
was  the  deadly  determination  to  annihilate  each  other 
that  200,000  men  were  left  upon  the  battle-field  as  the 
result  of  the  day's  contest.  Attila's  army  was  beaten,  and 
the  Eoman  allies  were  too  weak  to  prevent  the  retreat  of 
the  renmant  of  his  army  back  to  Hungary.    Says  an  old 


historian  of  this  battle :  "  Antiquity  tells  of  nothing  like 
it.  A  fight  gigantio^  supernatural  in  vastness  and  horror." 

n  452  A.D.  Attila  advanced  again  upon  Bome,  but 
upon  the  entreaties  of  the  Bishop  Leo  I.  he  was  induced  to 
withdraw.  Attila  was  assassinated  454  a.d.  on  his  way 
out  of  Italy,  it  is  said,  by  the  hand  of  a  beautiful  Bergun- 
dian  girl,  Ildico  (Hildagunde).  His  body  was  enclosed  in 
three  coffins,  gold,  silver  and  lead,  and,  surrounded  by  his 
whole  army  on  horseback,  the  funeral  ceremonies  were 
conducted.  To  render  impossible  the  discovery  of  his 
grave,  the  men  who  prepared  it  were  put  to  death. 

Germany  was  now  in  a  most  deplorable  state.  Her 
cities,  villages,  her  public  edifices,  constructed  by  the 
Eomans  and  themselves,  were  laid  in  ashes.  Whatever 
had  been  reared  by  human  hands  was  swept  oflP  the  face 
of  the  earth  by  the  plundering  tribes.  Soon  after  these 
destructive  events  had  taken  place  the  German  general 
Odoachar,  the  son  of  a  high  ofBcial  of  Attila's  cour£,  who 
had  risen  to  distinction  in  the  "Western  Empire,  was 
placed  in  command  of  the  German  auxiliary  army  of  the 

Conscious  of  his  strength,  his  mind  filled  with  plans 
not  unlike  those  formed  by  Alaric,  he  suddenly  demanded 
a  division  of  the  Roman  territory  between  the  Roman 
general  Orestes,  who  was  to  have  one-third,  the  young 
emperor  Romulus  Augustus  a  third,  and  himself  a  third. 
Upon  being  refused  he  turned  the  German  troops  against 
them,  killing  Orestes  and  taking  the  Emperor  prisoner. 
This  victory  gave  Odoachar  the  opportunity  to  proclaim 
himself  "  King  of  the  German  peoples  of  Italy,"  which  he 
did  in  476  a.  d.  Thus  it  came  to  pass,  after  twelve  hun- 
dred and  twenty-nine  years  of  her  existenpe,  Rome  fell 
at  the  hands   of   the  Germans;  but,    as  the   historian 

80  ooNFLicrr  of  the  bomans  and  teutons, 

Scherrer  honestly  says,  "Not  so  much  through  theu* 
designs  and  power,  as  because  fate  so  willed  it."  Rome 
was  no  longer  able  to  stand  against  the  united  attacks 
of  the  Forest  Children,  and  the  Troll  garden  was 
entered  at  last.  "And  the  fairy  treasure  —  what  had 
become  of  that  i!  No  man  knew.  Nothing  was  left,  and 
back  they  go  and  quarrel  apart  over  some  petty  spoil 
which  had  been  saved  from  the  general  wreck." 

Thus,  for  five  hundred  years  from  the  day  when 
Amiinius  coaxed  Varus  into  the  morasses  of  the  Teuto- 
berger  forest,  was  the  history  of  the  German  peoples 
inextricably  interwoven  with  that  of  the  Eomans.  What 
would  have  been  further  accomplished  by  Odoacher,  had 
he  lived,  it  is  hard  to  surmise.  During  his  short  lease  of 
power  he  established  order  throughout  the  Empire,  dis- 
tributed the  Germans  among  the  Romans,  gave  them  a 
third  of  the  landed  property,  and  allowed  them  to  retain 
their  customs  and  laws. 

Says  Menzel :  "  After  the  fall  of  Eome,  the  Latin 
tongue  and  the  refinements  of  the  south  greatly  influ- 
enced its  conquerors,  and  drew  a  broader  line  of  distinction 
between  them  and  the  Germans  still  back  in  the  wild  and 
trackless  forests;  Christianity  also  caused  a  still  wider 
separation  between  the  converted  and  pagan  tribes. 
These  circumstances,  combined  with  the  hereditary  feuds 
and  restless  war-loving  character  of  the  Germans,  Avere 
turned  to  advantage  by  their  kings,  who,  influenced  either 
by  zeal  for  religion,  or  by  ambitious  motives,  carried  on 
the  struggle,  now  terminated  with  Borne,  amongst  them 





FROM  the  death  of  Odoacher,  in  493,  it  is  not  pertinent 
to  the  story  of  the  true  German  tril)es  to  follow 
to  its  collapse  the  powerful  Ostrogothic  empire  in  560 
A.D.,  nor  to  trace  the  struggles  of  the  Visigoths  to 
their  final  extinction.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  King  Theo- 
dorick  (Deitrich)  left  his  impress  upon  the  pages  of  history 
as  the  Goth  "  who  first  attempted  to  found  a- civilized  and 
ordered  state  upon  experience  drawn  from  Iloman 

The  most  active  of  the  Teuton  tribes  at  this  time, 
were  the  Thuringians,  Suevi,  Saxons,  Bavarians  and 
Alemanni.  The  territory  occupied  by  them  was  bounded 
on  the  east  by  the  rivers  Elbe  and  Saale,  on  the  west  by 
Gaul,  on  the  south  by  the  Alps.  The  Franks,  originally 
Oerman^  being  formed  of  the  Alemanni  and  Catti  tribes, 
settled  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Ehine,  and  in  time  took 
possession  of  the  whole  of  GauL  The  Prankish  nation 
was  founded  by  Clovis,  in  481  a.d.  He  changed  its 
ancient  name  of  Gaul  to  that  of  France.  He  married  the 
famous  Clotilda,  whose  whole  family,  with  the  exception 
of  a  sister,  had  been  murdered  by  her  uncle  Gundebald  of 
Burgundy.  The  legend  of  their  marriage  is  a  very  pretty 
romance  to  read,  and  has  the  merit  of  being  true.  Clovis 
was  converted  to  Christianity  by  the  result  of  a  battle. 
During  its  progress,  seeing  that  defeat  was  possible,  he 



swore  in  case  he  was  victorious  to  forsake  Wodin,  the 
God  of  his  fathers,  and  embrace  the  religion  of  his  Chris- 
tian wife,  Clotilda,  should  he  be  victorious.  The  battle 
being  won,  faithful  to  his  promise  he  was  baptized  at 
Kheims  about  496  a.  d.  The  Catholic  bishops  of  all  Gaul 
now  assisted  him  in  strengthening  his  power.  He  made 
acessions  to  his  territory,  which  extended  from  the  Khine 
to  the  Pyrenees.  Clovis  is  said  to  have  laid  the  ground- 
work for  a  complete  revolution  in  the  internal  policy  of 
Germany  and  France.  He  was  the  first  and  greatest  king 
of  the  Merovingian  dynasty.  The  Gauls  having  been 
early  conquered  by  the  Romans  had  earlier  adopted  the 
manners,  customs,  and  language  of  the  Bomans.  When 
subdued  by  the  Franks,  the  historians  say,  "the  Frankish 
people  were  superior  to  the  other  German  tribes.  They 
were  ingenious,  brave  and  enterprising.  Trained  to  war, 
accustomed  to  victory,  fired  by  ambition,  and  favored  by 
their  position,  they  acquired  and  maintained  a  power 
against  which  none  of  the  other  states  were  able  to  make 
perceptible  inroads." 

Clovis'  sons  were  each  given  a  fourth  of  his  kingdom 
at  his  death,  which  occurred  a.  d.  511.  The  Ehine  coun- 
try, Austrasia,  fell  to  the  eldest,  while  Neustria  was  given 
to  his  second  son.  The  real  German  tribes  were  the 
Australians,  while  the  Neustrias  were  the  more  Roman- 
ized Franks,  or,  as  some  historian  calls  them,  "  the  weak 
and  licentious  Franks." 

The  Merovingian  kings  were  of  this  last  type,  mere 
phantoms  of  royalty,  who  although  wearing  crowns  were 
governed  by  mayors  of  the  palace,  or  high  chancellors, 
provided  by  the  Austrasians,  or  Germans.  These  mayors 
assumed  the  title  of  duke,  and  in  time  gained  absolute  pos- 
session  of  the  Frankish  kingdom. 


Pepin,  a  mayor  of  Dogobert's  palace,  was  the  first  of 
the  dynasty  to  succeed  the  lazy  Merovingian  kings. 
Although  allowing  them  still  to  reign,  he  governed  the 
country.  After  Pepin  I.  came  Charles  Martel.  He  was 
the  natural  son  of  Pepin  I.  Under  Martel  the  old  feud 
between  the  Germans  and  French  was  renewed,  the 
former  upholding  Martel  and  the  latter  the  legal  kings. 

Martel,  taking  the  matter  into  his  own  hands,  settled 
the  difficulty  by  seizing  the  reins  of  government  and 
making  himself  sole  ruler.  To  him  is  ascribed  the  glory 
of  having  delivered  France  from  the  pagans  of  the  East, 
from  the  Mussulmen  of  the  South,  and  saved  Christendom 
once  and  forever  f I'ora  the  dominion  of  the  Turk.  The 
celebrated  battle  of  Poitiers,  a.d.  732,  was  a  turning 
point,  or  an  epoch,  in  the  history  of  Europe  which  has 
served  as  the  text  for  many  a  congratulatory  sermon  by 
both  Catholic  and  Protestant  divines. 

It  was  at  this  battle,  in  which  he  killed  numbers  of 
the  enemy  by  striking  them  upon  the  head,  that  he  gained 
the  name  Martel  (a  hammer).  He  died  in  Y14  a.  d.,  and 
was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Pepin  "the  Short."  Pepin 
extended  his  domain  into  Italy,  the  Lombards  becoming 
tributary  to  France,  and  through  his  generosity  to  the 
ecclesiastical  power  at  Kome  he  was  aided  in  maintaining 
his  supremacy.  He  was  a  sagacious  ruler,  using  his 
authority  to  strengthen  the  Austrasian  influence. 

About  this  time  the  Anglo  Saxons  of  the  far-off  isles 
to  the  North  had  become  celebrated  throughout  Christen- 
dom as  a  very  religious  people.  Their  professions  and 
life  were  more  in  accordance  with  the  teachings  of  the 
early  apostles  than  was  that  of  the  Franks.  Their  doc- 
trines were  simpler;  consequently  their  monks  were  in 
great  demand  as  evangelizers  in  Germany  and  France. 


The  Prankish  Church,  which  had  not  been  able  to  make 
much  headway  among  the  pagan  Germans  to  the  north- 
eart  —  these  several  tribes  judging  more  by  the  practices 
of  a  people  than  by  their  professions  —  in  looking  about 
for  an  energetic  missionary  Qxed  upon  a  famous  religious 
enthusiast,  called  Winfried  the  Monk.  He  was  asked  by 
the  Church  of  the  French  to  go  over  into  heathen  Ger- 
many, and  tell  them  all  about  the  new  religion.  Winfried, 
who  was  an  ideal  missionary,  consented,  and  entered  upon 
his  task  with  energy  and  zeal.  The  way  in  which  he 
carried  on  his  conversions  was  bold  and  somewhat  hazard- 
ous. It  is  related  that  in  his  wanderings  through  the 
pathless  forests  and  waste  plains  he  came  upon  a  multi- 
tude of  Germans,  who  had  surrounded  an  immense  oak, 
sacred  to  Wodin,  and  were  engaged  in  worship.  Seizing 
an  axe,  with  many  loud  strokes  and  loud  exhortations 
Winfried  leveled  the  tree  to  the  ground.  The  awe  struck 
heathen,  expecting  the  monk  to  be  instantly  punished  for 
this  sacrilegious  act  through  some  supernatural  power, 
which  not  being  done,  they  began  to  lose  faith  in  the 
infallibility  of  their  deities,  and  to  listen  to  the  mission- 
ary's story.  Winfried  obtained  great  power  over  several 
tribes,  but  with  the  Saxons  he  made  no  headway. 

Pepin  having  concluded  his  alliance  with  the  Pope  in 
755  a.  d.,  Winfried  became  the  King's  most  strenuous  sup- 
porter. Hie  purpose  of  life  was  "  the  unity  of  the  king- 
dom of  God  on  earth ;  the  fraternization  of  all  mankind, 
gathered  under  the  care  of  one  shepherd,  the  Pope, 
Christ's  vicar  upon  earth,  and  the  substitution  of  the  Latin 
language  as  the  only  authorized  language  of  the  Church." 
lie  saw  the  needs  of  the  people  also  in  a  material  point  of 
view.  Seeking  fertile  ground  in  the  heart  of  the  dense 
forests,  he  gained  permission  to  establish  industrial  col- 


onies,  called  monasteries.  Soon  the  earth  began  to  blossom 
and  produce  fruits  for  the  needs  of  man.  His  communities 
were  started  upon  the  theorj'-  that  the  chief  aim  of  man 
ought  to  be  the  worship  of  God  and  solicitude  for  the 
welfare  of  man.  These  brotherhoods  not  only  became 
the  Christianizers,  but  the  ci  vilizei-s  of  tiie  age.  The  mon- 
astery established  by  Winfried  at  "The  Glade  of  Oaks," 
afterwards  called  Fulda,  was  given  four  miles  in  extent 
upon  which  to  build  a  church,  a  seat  of  learning  and  mon- 
astery. Here  Winfried,  the  Anglo-Saxon  monk  and 
missionary,  Avas  buried.  Since  canonized  he  is  called  St. 
Boniface,  and  is  considered  the  father  of  the  German 
Catholic  Church. 

The  most  renowned  king  of  the  Carlo vingian  dynasty, 
which  now  had  settled  its  supremacy  over  the  Merovin- 
gians, was  Charlemagne,  born  at  Aix  la-Chapelle  a.  d. 
742.  He  was  the  son  of  Pepin  "  the  Short."  Legends  exist 
giving  the  most  w^onderful  evidence  of  his  strength  of 
mind  and  body  when  a  mere  child.  He  measured  seven 
of  his  own  feet,  says  history;  his  feet  doubtless  being  full 
twelve  inches.  "His  head  was  round,  his  eyes  large, and 
his  nose  somewhat  exceeded  moderate  proportions.  His 
gray  hair  was  beautiful  to  behold."  His  crown,  which  is 
preserved  in  Vienna,  is  of  gigantic  size.  Foreign  clothes 
he  would  never  wear,  except  at  Rome  and  at  the  Pope's 
request.  His  habits  are  thus  described  in  history:  Never 
'  indulging  in  excesses  or  luxury,  and  maintaining  his 
strength  by  daily  exercise,  he  was  the  ideal  of  a  power- 
ful ruler.  He  ascended  the  throne  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
six.  Upon  his  brother's  death  he  united  the  whole  of 
Gaul  and  Western  Germany ;  "urged  on  by  an  uncontrol- 
lable ambition,  he  burst  through  every  barrier  that  opjwsed 
his  entrance  into  the  great  and  brilliant  course  he  was 


destined  to  run.  His  fame,  like  the  sun  at  early  morn, 
obscured  by  rolling  clouds,  shone  forth,  again  and  again, 
with  undimmed  luster.  Ilis  energetic  and  creative  in- 
tellect, ever  actively  and  simultaneously  employed  in  con- 
ducting his  wars  abroad,  and  in  improving  the  internal 
condition  of  his  empire,  changed  the  aspect  of  affairs, 
not  only  throughout  Germany  but  throughout  the  whole 
of  Europe,  to  a  new  and  important  era.  With  him,  the 
history  of  ancient  Germany  closes.  All  the  ancient  free 
German  states  and  kingdoms  were  united  within  the  lim- 
its of  his  immense  empire.  Antiquity  sank  into  oblivion 
and  Ae  middle  age  commenced  with  his  grand  and  bril- 
liant reign." 
.  After  his  great  wars,  to  wit :  the  destruction  of  Lom- 
bardy,  the  conquest  of  the  Saxons  (the  most  stubborn 
and  relentless  of  the  pagan  Germans),  his  wars  in  Spain, 
with  the  Slavi,  the  Avari  of  Hungary  and  Austria,  and 
the  Norsemen  of  Scandinavia,  his  empire  extended  from 
the  Ebro  in  Spain  to  the  Baab  in  Hungary ;  from  Bene- 
vento  on  the  south  to  the  Eyder  on  the  north.  All  of  the 
German  tribes  in  the  north  of  Europe,  except  the  Anglo- 
Saxons  and  Scandinavians,  were  for  the  first  time  united 
under  one  sovereign.  All  the  Western  Romans,  w^ith 
portions  of  the  country  east  of  the  Elbe  and  Saal,  inhab- 
ited by  the  Slavi  and  the  Avari  of  Hungary,  were  within 
his  domain. 

The  act  which  has  come  down  through  the  long  pages 
of  history,  and  which  has  fixed  the  character  of  the  man 
most  firmly  in  men's  minds,  is  termed,  "  Charlemagne's 
mass  conversions  of  the  Saxons,"  a  task  which  he  was 
thirty-two  years  in  accomplishing.  Keligion  was  offered 
to  these  pagans  at  the  point  of  the  sword.  It  was,  "  be- 
lieve or  die,"  and  they  believed:  a  practice  which  was 

Die  5<trlad;t  bei  Dofflngen. 



continued  several  centuries  after  Charlemagne's  death  by 
one  power  or  the  other  ruling  in  Germany. 

Under  Charlemagne's  masterful  sway  the  Catholic 
Church,  or,  as  it  was  then  called,  the  Christian  Church,  was 
placed  upon  a  firm  spiritual  and  material  foundation.  He 
established  many  powerful  bishoprics  in  the  interior  of 
Germany,  which  came  to  be  arms  in  the  hands  of  the 
pontifical  power  at  Rome,  to  keep  in  check  the  ambition  of 
Germany's  emperors. 

While  he  lived,  however,  his  word  was  law.  Pope  and 
clergy  bent  submissively  before  him.  He  was,  although 
a  man  of  martial  spirit,  the  patron  of  learning,  the  ancient 
legends  and  ballads  of  the  various  tribes  being  collected 
and  written  under  his  direction.  He  founded  academies 
and  furnished  to  the  people  masters  for  learning  writing, 
arithmetic  and  singing. 

Under  his  reign  the  first  German  grammar  was  written. 
Besides  encouraging  agriculture,  he  granted  special  privi- 
leges to  merchants.  He  protected  the  Jews  against  pil- 
lage by  severe  laws;  built  roads. for  the  transportation  of 
merchandise,  and  in  many  ways  encom'aged  trade.  Previ- 
ous to  his  death  he  crowned  his  son  as  associate  emperor. 
By  his  father's  direction,  Louis  took  the  crown  from  the 
"  Lord's  Table,"  and  placed  it  upon  his  own  head,  to  signify 
that  it  was  through  divine  rather  than  through  human 
interposition  that  he  was  allowed  to  wear  a  crown.  Thus 
was  monarchy  "by  the  grace  of  God  established  in  the 
year  a.  d.  818."  Charlemagne  died  in  814,  and  was  buried 
at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  where,  upon  his  tomb  being  opened  by 
Otto  IIL,  the  great  Charlemagne  was  found  sitting  upright 
upon  a  throne,  attired  in  his  imperial  robes. 

Louis  the  Pious  was  unable  to  keep  intact  the  immense 
territory  bequeathed  him  by  his  father — an  empire  which 


consisted  of  many  peoples  united  by  conquest.  By  the 
treaty  of  Verdun,  843  a.  d.,  the  Empire  was  divided 
between  Louis'  three  sons.  Lothair  was  given  Italy, 
Charles  the  Bold  France,  and  Louis  that  portion  of  the 
Empire  east  of  the  Rhine,  west  of  the  Bohemian  forest, 
and  north  of  the  Danube,  and  called  Germany. 

Owing  to  the  weak  rule  of  Louis  and  his  sons,  the 
nobles,  who  formerly  were  mere  officers  of  the  King,  be^an 
to  rise  in  power.  They  had  gone  so  far  as  to  ask  that 
their  titles  become  hereditary.  Charles  the  Bold  of 
France,  just  before  his  death,  granted  their  request,  at  the 
same  time  extending  the  right  of  inheritance  to  all  the 
fiefs.  Thus  was  firmly  established  the  feudal  system  in 
Europe  in  877  a.  d.  It  was  only  a  revival  of  an  ancient 
system  of  the  German  tribes, —  the  use  of  property,  lent, 
u|x>n  stipulated  conditions,  to  emancipated  slaves,  poor 
freemen  and  armed  followers.  The  rich  conquered  prov- 
inces having  been  given  by  the  kings  to  their  most  brave 
and  noble  adherents,  they  were  called  counts  (grafs).  This 
property  served  for  the  support  of  the  large  retinues  swear- 
ing allegiance  to  its  owner,  the  owner  in  turn  swearing 
allegiance  to  his  king.  These  dukes  and  grafs,  or  counts, 
ere  long  possessed  all  the  honor,  all  the  influence  and  all 
the  wealth  of  the  country.  "With  their  followers  they 
elected  the  kings,  and  often  the  kings  were  forced  to  pur 
chase  the  loyalty  of  their  nobles. 

About  this  time,  that  is,  after  the  division  between 
Louis'  sons,  France  became  autonomous.  A  new  language 
begun  to  be  spoken,  formed  of  the  German  and  Latin,  and 
her  own  princes  aspired  to  the  sole  rule  of  the  French 

After  the  death  of  Louis  the  Child,  the  last  of  the  five 
German  Carlovingian  kings,  Conrad  the  Franconian  sue- 


ceeded  in  gaining  the  crown  of  Germany  in  opposition  to 
the  Saxon  duke,  Henry.  At  Conrad's  death,  after  reign- 
ing five  years,  and  at  his  request,  Henry  I.  was  elected 
king,  A.  D.  919.  He  must  be  considered  as  the  founder  of 
the  independent  German  nation.  Making  war  upon  the 
duchies  of  Swabia,  Bavaria  and  Lorraine,  ho  established 
imperial  authority  over  these  dignitaries.  His  object  was 
to  lessen  their  power  and  increase  that  of  the  cities.  The 
municipal  privileges  he  granted  were  the  foundation,  of 
the  German  corporations  which  became  so  powerful  in  the 
twelfth  century.  The  boundary  line  of  Germany  proper 
Henry  placed  as  far  east  as  Prague,  and  as  far  north  as 
the  Danish  provinces. 

The  Saxon  dynasty  was  not  continued  after  the  death 
of  Henry  I.,  but,  as  the  dukes  and  princes  still  elected  their 
king,  a  great  gathering  of  the  people,  says  the  historian, 
had  hastened  f  I'om  every  quarter  and  encamped  on  both 
sides  of  the  Ehine,  between  Worms  and  Mayence,  to  take 
part  in  the  elevation  of  an  emperor  to  rule  over  them. 
Dukes  appeared  in  person,  followed  by  processions  led  by 
margraves  and  counts,  with  banners  flying  and  horses 
neighing.  With  equal  state  come  the  archbishops,  bishops 
and  abbots,  with  their  pious  but  haughty  retinues.  The 
broad  plain  scarcely  sufficed  to  hold  the  number  of  noble- 
born  Germans,  met  to  elect  the  successor  of  their  dead 
King,  who  on  his  death-bed  had  recommended  Count 
Conrad,  but  whose  claim  was  opposed  by  his  older  cousin, 
Duke  Conrad. 

The  election  of  one  of  tliese  men  was  unanimously 
resolved  upon,  both  of  the  competitors  agreeing  for  the 
sake  of  the  state  to  yield  submissively  to  the  will  of  the 
majority.  The  electors  met  and  the  first  vote  cast  was 
for  Conrad  the  Elder.    All  the  bishops  added  their  suf« 


frages,  and  he  was  declared  elected  Emperor  with  one  joy- 
ous acclaim.  His  cousin  was  the  first  to  congratulate 
him  upon  his  accession.  Conrad  II.  proved  to  be  one  of 
the  noblest  sovereigns  that  ever  swayed  the  scepter  of 

It  is  claimed  that  he  was  no  slave  to  the  Church,  that 
when  the  Pope,  without  consulting  him,  raised  theabbotof 
Reichenau  to  the  Episcopal  dynasty,  Conrad  prohibited 
its  acceptance  and  caused  the  promotion  document  to  be 
destroyed.  Conrad  II.  died  in  1030.  His  son  Henry  HI. 
accompanied  the  funeral  procession  to  Spires,  and  while 
passing  through  the  town  assisted  in  bearing  the  coffin 
upon  his  own  shoulders.  Henry's  reign  was  noted  for 
the  continuance  of  a  disposition  inaugurated  by  Henry  I., 
and  continued  by  his  father  Conrad  II.,  to  keep  back  the 
clergy  from  meddling  too  much  in  state  affairs.  The 
Bohemians  were  the  first  to  commence  open  warfare 
against  Henry.  They  were  supported  in  their  rebellion 
by  the  Bishop  of  Prague,  Severus.  The  war  lasted  two 
vears,  but  the  Emperor  succeeded  finally  in  defeating  the 
Bohemians  and  their  bishop. 

Under  the  rule  of  Henry  III.  Hunagry  was  divided  into 
counties,  or  comitate  —  its  divisions  of  to-day.  Vienna  and 
the  surrounding  country  were  severed  from  Hungary  and 
united  to  Austria. 

At  this  time,  about  1046  a.  d.,  there  was  great  uneasi- 
ness in  the  Church  on  account  of  the  claims  of  three  Popes 
to  the  pontifical  seat :  Benedict  IX.,  who  ruled  from  the 
Lateran,  Gregory  VI.  from  the  Vatican,  and  Sylvester 
VIL  frim  Sl  Maria  Maggiore,  all  at  Eome.  Henry 
determined  to  put  an  end  to  this  state  of  things,  and, 
going  to  Bome,  held  a  great  ecclesiastical  convocation  at 
SutrL    Summarily  deposing  the  three  quarreling  Popes 



he  placed  a  German  Pope,  Clement  11.,  in  power,  the  three 
deposed  popes  returning  with  him  to  Germany.  Clem- 
ent was  poisoned  in  a  short  time,  and  Damasus  II.,  his 
German  successor,  did  not  live  three  weeks  after  his  eleva- 
tion. The  Emperor  then  appointed  a  member  of  his  own 
family,  Leo  IX.,  to  the  pontifical  chair.  He  first  at- 
tempted to  aboUsh  the  sin  of  "simony" — the  purchase 
of  ecclesiastical  benefices.  He  issued  edicts  rendering 
those  engaged  in  such  practices  liable  to  the  severest  pun- 
ishments. He  met,  however,  with  the  most  opposition 
from  the  German  clergy  themselves,  and  was  forced  to 
fly  to  the  Normans,  who  fell  at  his  feet  in  adoration  of 
his  noble  qualities.  Dying  the  next  year,  1054  a.  d.,  Geb- 
hard,  called  Victor  II.,  was  appointed  pontiff,  who  promised 
the  world  to  continue  the  reforms  begun  by  Leo.  IX. 

Henry  III.  died  in  the  Hartz  mountains  in  1056,  in  the 
prime  of  life.  He  maintained  his  royal  authority  with- 
out diminution  against  the  attacks  of  the  aristocracy  and 
hierarchy,  which  was  much  to  say  of  a  king  at  that  time, 
surrounded  by  opposing  fiefs,  dukedoms  and  warring 
nations.  He  left  the  Empire  in  the  hands  of  the  Empress 
Agnes,  his  son  Henry  IV.  being  but  five  years  old  at  his 

The  story  of  the  poor  young  prince,  as  told  by  Menzel, 
presents  a  picture  verifying  the  maxim :  "  Uneasy  rests  the 
head  that  wears  a  crown." 

The  Empress,  although  a  virtuous,  highly  cultivated 
woman,  was  totally  deficient  in  that  energy  required  to 
rule  the  wild  and  daring  spirits  of  the  age.  Unable  to 
bear  despotic  sway  over  the  extensive  and  distant  provinces 
bequeathed  to  her,  as  her  husband  had  done,  she  sought 
aid  through  intermediating  dukes. 

About  this  time,  Anno,  Archbishop  of  Cologne,  an 


ambitious,  stern-temi)ered  man,  more  fitted  to  bear  the 
scepter  than  the  crosier,  and  who  despised  Agnes,  was 
determined  to  seize  the  regency  for  himself.  Several 
conspiracies  were  formed  to  take  the  life  of  the  young 
Emperor.  These  failing,  a  plan  was  formed  to  gain  pos- 
session of  his  person.  The  Empress  and  her  son  were 
invited  to  pass  Easter  at  Kaiserswerth,  1062  a.  d.  After 
the  banquet,  under  the  pretense  of  showing  the  Prince  a 
boat,  he  was  taken  to  the  Khine,  put  on  board  a  vessel, 
and  taken  away.  The  courageous  boy  perceiving  it  was 
the  intention  to  separate  him  from  his  mother,  leaped 
into  the  water,  but  was  followed,  caught,  and  borne 
back  to  the  vessel.  Although  pursued  on  both  sides  of 
the  river  by  the  country  people,  and  by  the  cries  of  the 
Empress  for  the  return  of  her  child,  he  was  carried  to 
Cologne  as  a  prisoner.  The  heart-broken  mother  then 
resigned  the  regency  and  retired  to  a  convent. 

Anno,  the  archbishop  who  had  planned  his  capture, 
caused  a- decree  to  be  passed  by  the  assembled  vassals  of 
the  Empire,  to  empower  the  archbishop  within  whose 
diocese  the  young  Emperor  resided,  to  act  as  regent  of  the 

Anno  caused  the  boy  to  be  thoroughly  educated,  com- 
pelling him  to  learn  Latin  like  a  chorister,  and  undergo 
the  severest  discipline. 

The  Popes  were  now  to  be  elected  independent  of  the 
Emperor ;  or  solely  dependent  upon  the  votes  of  the  car- 
dinals, or  highest  ecclesiastics.  Like  the  Emperor,  he  was 
declared  ruler  over  the  feudatories  in  his  dominions. 
Many  of  the  dukes  wishing  to  free  themselves  from  the 
rule  of  the  Empire  at  this  time,  came  under  the  Pope's 

Alexander  n.  being  elected  Pope  by  the  cardinals, 


Agnes  when  in  power  had  caused  the  election  of  Honorius 
II.  by  the  German  bishops,  A  dispute  having  arisen 
between  the  two  pontiffs,  Anno,  the  regent,  was  called  to 
Home  to  settle  it.  He  upheld  the  Pope  elected  by  the  car- 
dinals, and  Alexander  II.  remained  in  power.  While 
Anno  was  absent  the  young  Emperor  had  fallen  into  the 
hands  of  Adalbert,  Archbishop  of  Bremen.  He  was  the 
most  learned  and  polished  man  of  the  age.  By  the  gentle- 
ness of  his  treatment  of  the  young  Emperor,  so  suddenly 
changed  from  the  severity  of  the  former  archbishop.  Anno, 
the  effect  was  soon  found  to  be  most  pernicious  upon 
Henry.  The  Saxons  were  ever  at  war  with  the  archbishops, 
and  Henry  was  taught  to  disHke  them,  as  well  as  the 
sturdy  German  people.  This  antipathy  followed  him,  and 
when  he  became  Emperor  caused  him  great  uneasiness  and 

These  bishops,  archbishops  and  abbots  were  constantly 
quarreling  to  see  who  should  gain  the  most  power,  tem- 
poral as  well  as  spiritual!  It  is  said  the  young  Emperor 
witnessed  a  struggle  between  the  Bishop  of  Hildsheim  and 
the  Abbot  of  Fulda  for  precedence  in  the  church  of  Gos- 
lar,  in  which  several  men  lost  their  lives.  He  heard,  there- 
fore, little  but  the  ambitious  discussions  of  the  aspiring 
ecclesiastics  in  his  youth. 

When  scarcely  old  enough  to  bear  arms,  he  began  to 
oppress  the  Saxons,  who  rose  up  against  him,  and  soon  sur- 
rounding him  in  his  castle,  he  was  only  saved  from  death 
by  escaping  under  the  cover  of  night  to  Worms.  Here  the 
German  dukes  offered  to  assist  him,  but,  afraid  of  their 
power,  he  appeared  in  the  assembly  of  Upper  Germany 
and  pleaded  for  aid.  When  it  was  rendered  the  troops 
refused  to  attack  the  Saxons,  and  he  was  compelled  to 
accede  to  their  demands.    The  Saxons  now  razed  every 


fortress  to  the  ground,  and  dragged  the  dead  body  of  the 
Emperor's  brother  and  his  own  son  from  the  grave.  This 
barbarous  act  brought  every  duke  and  prince  of  the  Empire 
to  join  in  an  expedition  for  revenge.  Henry  soon  found 
himself  at  the  head  of  an  immense  army.  Inspired  by 
revenge,  he  attacked  the  Saxons;  a  bloody  battle  being 
fought  at  Langensalza.  The  peasantry  were  hewn  down 
by  thousands.  Three  years  after  the  Saxons  submitted 
to  Henry,  and  the  dukedom  was  presided  over  by  Otto 
of  Nordheim. 

Pope  Alexander  II.  dying,  the  son  of  a  blacksmith, 
named  Hildebrand,  and  who  had  been  taken  bv  Leo  XIX. 
into  his  service,  aspired  to  the  empty  chair  at  Rome.  He 
was  a  man  of  great  talent,  and  at  the  time  of  Henry's 
mother's  (Agnes)  regency,  made  extraordinary  headway 
with  his  great  purpose  of  universal  ecclesiastical  rule. 
Says  Menzel :  "  So  intense  was  the  devotional  feeling  of  the 
times  that  the  Church  merely  required  an  energetic  head, 
and  the  Empire  a  weak  ruler,  for  the  temporal  power  of 
the  latter  to  pass  into  the  hands  of  the  former." 

Hildebrand  had  been  the  moving  spirit  in  having  the 
Popes  elected  by  cardinals  without  the  aid  of  the  Emperor. 
Being  now  chosen  to  Alexander's  seat,  under  the  name  of 
Gregory  VII.,  his  first  step  was  to  decree  the  celibacy  of 
aU  the  clergy  -  the  bishops  and  priests  having  families  up 
to  this  date,  the  monks  alone  being  compelled  to  renounce 
family  life  upon  entering  the  monasteries.  "  Celibacy  would 
control  the  ambition  of  the  clergy  by  dissolving  every  tie 
between  them  and  family,  country  and  kindred,  rendering 
them  solely  the  servants  of  the  Church.  The  German  clergy 
opposed  this  measure  with  great  earnestness,  but 
they  were  finally  compelled  to  submit.  Gregory  VII. 
made  other  changes  in   the    election  of    bishops,  and 

.    •  •  •    • 

*  •  •       •• 


declared  all  the  property  of  the  Church,  which  heretofore 
had  been  obliged  to  pay  a  tax  to  the  Crown,  now  independ- 
ent of  the  Emperor.  He,  in  sum  and  substance,  declared 
that  "  the  Pope  is  through  God  and  instead  of  God  on 
earth ;  therefore,  all  powers,  whether  temporal  or  spirit- 
ual, are  subject  to  Him.  The  Pope  is  the  sun,  the 
Emperor  the  moon  that  shines  with  borrowed  light." 

The  Saxons  who  had  suffered  at  the  hands  of  Henry, 
laid  their  complaints  against  him  before  Pope  Gregory, 
who,  having  before  been  appealed  to  by  Henry,  to  aid  in 
repressing  these  rebellious  subjects,  gave  him  the  oppor- 
tunity to  act  as  umpire  between  them.  Gregory 
haughtily  commanded  the  Emperor  to  come  to  Bome  in 
person,  accusing  him  of  "simony,"  and  excommunicated 
the  bishops  who  had  served  Henry's  commands.  The 
Emperor  called  a  convocation  of  German  bishops  at 
Worms,  A.  D.  1076,  and  deposed  Gregory. 

Gregory  now  retaliated  by  releasing  Henry^s  subjects 
from  their  allegiance  to  him  and  declared  him  deprived  of 
his  imperial  dignity*  With  the  exception  of  the  inhabit- 
ants of  cities,  and  the  free  peasantry,  who  still  held  to 
their  ancient  Germanic  Constitution,  "there  was  none  so 
poor  as  to  do  him  reverence."  There  was  no  help  for  him, 
unless  he  could  free  himself  from  the  pontifical  interdict. 
The  election  of  a  new  Emperor  was  attempted  while  Henry 
was  made  a  close  resident  of  his  castle  at  Spires. 

In  this  state  of  embarrassment,  Henry  escaped,  and 
with  his  wife  Bertha  and  infant  son,  set  out  for  Italy, 
accompanied  by  a  single  knight,  said  to  have  been  Freder- 
ick,  an  ancestor  of  the  Hohenstaufen  family.  The  little 
company  traveled  over  the  frozen  country,  the  coldest 
season  within  the  memory  of  man,  towards  the  land  of 
forgiveness.    They  crossed  the  Alps,  and  Bertha^  "  whom 


danger  nor  distress  could  sej^arate  from  the  King,  was 
drawn  over  the  ice  seated  on  an  ox  hide." 

When  Gregory  heard  of  Henry's  arrival  in  Italy,  and 
knowing  that  he  would  draw  to  his  standard  the  disaffected 
bishops  and  Italian  princes,  for  the  safety  of  his  person  he 
entered  the  fortress  of  Canossa,  being  on  his  way  to  Augs- 
burg. The  Emperor,  with  his  wife,  knocked  at  the  door 
of  the  fortress,  and  Henry  was  ordered  to  dispose  of  his  wife 
and  come  alone.  Obeying,  he  was  allowed  to  enter  the 
castle.  The  Pope  was  surprised  at  the  Emperor's  penitence, 
and  assumed  greater  severity.  Upon  the  gates  being  closed 
Henry  was  forced  to  stand  between  the  double  walls  of 
the  fortress,  three  days  and  nights  without  food,  bare- 
headed and  barefoot,  dressed  in  a  woolen  shirt,  pleading 
to  be  released  from  the  interdict.  Through  the  media- 
tion of  Matilda,  an  ally  of  Gregory,  and  on  whose  posses- 
sions the  fortress  stood,  the  Emperw  was  called  into  the 
presence  of  the  pontiff.  His  approval  was  promised  on 
condition  that  the  final  settlement  of  affairs  in  Germany 
should  be  left  to  himself,  and  that  Henry  should  not 
resume  the  title  of  Emperor  until  permission  was  granted 
him  by  the  Church. 

Mass  was  performed ;  the  pontiff  taking  the  holy  wafer 
in  his  hands,  and  breaking  it  in  halves,  said :  "  If  the 
crimes  which  you  accused  me  of  at  Worms  be  true,  may 
the  host  that  I  now  eat  cause  me  instantly  to  die."  Swal- 
lowing it,  he  continued.  "  Now  eat  the  other  half,  and 
protest  your  innocence  of  the  charges  I  make  against 
you."    The  Emperor,  refusing,  was  dismissed. 

The  Italian  adherentsof  Henry,  indignant  at  his  craven 
spirit  in  thus  humiliating  himself,  deserted  him  entirely. 
Stung  by  their  scorn,  he  determined  to  shut  Gregory  up 
in  the  fortress  and  prevent  his  return  to  Borne,     With  a 


knowledge  of  this  determination  the  interdicted  bishops 
and  German  laity  flocked  to  Henry's  standard. 

A  war  of  five  stirring  years  now  followed  between  the 
Emperor  and  Gregory ;  Germany  was  divided  into  two 
great  camps:  the  Archbishop  of  Mayence  against  the 
Emperor,  and  in  favor  of  Gregory ;  the  Bishop  of  some 
other  city  against  Gregory  and  in  favor  of  the  Emperor; 
clergy  and  Pope  against  Emperor  and  clergy ;  and  so  it 
went  on,  the  Emperor  using  every  effort  to  dethrone  the 
Pope,  and  the  Pope  every  effort  to  dethmne  the  Emperor. 
The  first  battle  was  fought  at  Melrichstadt,  which  was  not 
decisive,  Henry  commanding  in  person,  wiiile  "Rudolph's 
forces  (Gregory's  adherents)  were  headed  by  Otto  of  Nord- 

In  1080  another  battle  was  fought,  and  Otto  of  Nord- 
heim  was  victorious,  after  which  Gregory  conferred  upon 
Kudolph  the  title  of  Emperor,  and  placed  a  new  diadem 
upon  his  head, —  Henry  being  in  possession  of  the  genuine 
crown  of  Charlemagne.  But  Rudolph  was  to  hold  the 
German  Empire  only  as  a  Papal  fief. 

Henry  was  again  excommunicated,  and  forthwith  he 
convoked  a  Gennan  conctliu7n,  and  deposed  Gregory  a 
second  time,  placing. the  ArchbishoD  of  Eavenna,  as  Clem- 
ent III.,  in  the  pontifical  chair. 

Henry  now  attacked  Kudolph,  and  the  latter  was  killed, 
leaving  Gregory's  party  without  a  leader.  New  adherents 
hourly  flocked  to  the  Emperor's  side.  Leaving  his  affairs 
at  home  in  charge  of  the  Hohenstaufen  whom  he  had 
made  Duke  of  S  wabia,  he  hurried  off  to  Rome  for  the  pur- 
pose of  humbling  his  old  enemy,  Gregory.  Proceeding 
to  the  city  he  took  it  by  storm,  a.  d.  1083.  Placing 
Clement  III.  in  the  chair,  he  was  soleranlv  crowned  Em- 
peror  again.    Gregory,  who  had  fled  to  Salerno,  returned 



with  a  force  of  wild  Normans,  who  proceeded  to  sack  the 
city.  The  Romans  collected  in  great  numbers  and  drove 
the  marauders  away.  Gregory  again  escaped  to  Salerno, 
where  he  died  about  1085,  saying :  "  Because  I  have  loved 
justice  and  punished  injustice  I  die  an  exile ! " 

After  eflfeclually  settling  his  enemies,  a  respite  from 
wars  followed,  and  for  a  rew  years  the  Empire  enjoyed  a 
state  of  peace ;  but  with  a  peaceful  country  came  discord 
in  the  family.  Henry  had  left  his  eldest  son,  Conrad,  at 
the  head  of  aflfairs  in  Italy.  Marrying  lolanta,  the  daugh- 
ter of  Roger  of  Sicily,  and  afraid  of  losing  the  imperial 
crown  of  Germany,  on  account  of  his  father's  excommuni- 
cation, Conrad  caused  himself  to  be  crowned  at  Milan  in 
1095.  For  this  act  he  was  disinherited  by  his  father,  and 
died  of  remorse,  it  is  said,  a.  d.  1101. 

The  already  powerful  Church  party  in  Rome  and  Ger- 
many had  enlisted  in  its  service  the  poor  but  now  famous 
monk,  Peter  the  Hermit.  As  early  as  at  the  beginning  of 
the  tenth  century  it  was  customary  for  the  very  religious 
to  make  pilgrimages  to  Jerusalem  to  be  able  to  pray  at 
the  tomb  of  the  Savior  of  mankind.  Their  garb,  a  black 
cloak,  a  long  staff,  a  broad-brimmed  hat  and  a  rosary, 
procured  from  Jerusalem,  distinguished  them  from  all  the 
rest  of  the  world.  The  Arabs,  who  were  in  possession  of 
the  Holy  City,  had  permitted  them  to  build  churches  and 
a  hospital  for  the  care  of  pilgrims,  worn  and  sick  with  a 
year's  journey  on  foot  to  Jerusalem.  As  the  Jews  had 
been  the  merchants  of  the  East,  and  these  Christian  pil- 
grims were  apparently  in  much  better  circumstances  than 
themselves,  a  jealousy  arose  between  them,  which  was  the 
origin  of  a  report  that  the  church  erected  over  the  Holy 
Sepulcher  was  to  be  destroyed  and  the  pilgrims  would 
bencoforth  be  refused  admittance  within  the  wall?  of 


Jerusalem.  This  disposition  to  keep  oat  the  Christians 
was  attributed  to  the  Jews,  and  the  terrible  persecution 
of  this  people  in  France,  in  1011  a.  d.,  was  the  result  of 
this  report.  Upon  the  taking  of  Jerusalem  by  the  Turks, 
about  1085,  a  general  persecution  of  the  Christians  in 
and  around  the  Holy  City  took  place.  This  caused  great 
consternation  throughout  Europe. 

Peter  the  Hermit,  returning  from  a  pilgrimage,  at  the 
news,  fired  with  holy  zeal,  determined  to  bring  all  Chris- 
tendom to  the  rescue  of  Jerusalem.  Seated  upon  an  ass, 
he  rode  through  Germany,  exhorting  and  calling  upon  the 
faithful  to  enlist  for  warfare  against  the  infidel,  and  to 
snatch  from  his  despoiling  hand  the  sacred  spot  containing 
the  tomb  of  Jesus  of  Nazareth.  This  direct  appeal  to  the 
whole  Christian  Church  was  received  with  religious  enthu- 

For  nearly  a  thousand  years  the  people  of  Europe  had 
been  fighting  for  territory.  Since  the  days  of  Charle- 
magne something  had  to  be  provided  for  the  employment 
of  the  numerous  retinue  of  vassals  attached  to  every  duke's, 
graf  s,  bishop's  and  emperor's  person.  Even  a  release 
from  the  wars  of  the  Franconian  dynasty,  which  had  been 
mostly  between  the  temporal  and  spiritual  powers  of  the 
Empire,  would  have  been  sufficient  excuse  for  the  flying  of 
the  masses  to  arms,  in  order  to  reach  a  country  where  the 
nearness  of  God  to  man  was  beheved  to  be  greater  than  in 
their  own  land. 

To  his  standard  Peter  brought  thousands  upon  thou- 
sands. Associated  with  him,  and  a  man  of  action,  was 
Walter  "  Sensavehor,"  or,  as  the  Gernians  called  him  and 
his  followers,  ^^Hcibenickts  " — "  have  nothings," —  and  they 
were  rightly  named. 

Peter,  pinning  a  large  red  cross  upon  his  breast,  made 



a  holy  vow  "  with  this  to  conquer."  His  converts  followed 
his  example,  and  thus  was  started  the  first  military 
organization,  called  "  The  Crusade."  Several  pilgrimages 
had  been  undertaken  as  early  as  1033  a.  d.,  in  which  great 
numbers  had  gone  together  —  as  many  as  seven  thousand 
joining  Siegfried,  Archbishop  of  Mayence,  only  two  thou- 
sand of  whom  ever  returned  to  their  homes. 

This  first  army  of  Peter  the  Hermit  (forty  thousand 
strong)  was  mostly  composed  of  the  fanatical  poor,  to 
whom  any  change  was  a  boon.  Every  serf  joining  the 
holy  ranks  was  declared  free,  and  capable  of  bearing  arms, 
the  acme  of  every  serfs  ambition. 

It  was  difficult  to  control  so  suddenly  enlisted  an  army, 
made  up  of  so  many  nationalities,  and,  consequently, 
before  leaving  Germany  and  France,  many  excesses  and 
crimes  were  committed  against  the  inoffensive  Jews,  who 
were  derisively  called  "the  Crucifiers  of  Jesus  Christ." 
Hardly  had  the  holy  army  reached  Hungary  and  Bulgaria 
when  dissensions  arose  as  to  where  supplies  were  to  be 
obtained.  Robbery  and  foraging  were  compulsory ;  conse- 
quently but  ten  thousand  of  the  great  host  were  able  to 
reach  Constantinople,  most  of  them  having  been  killed  in 
battles  and  starved  to  death.  The  spirit  of  adventure, 
which  had  never  slept  in  Germany  nor  France  among  the 
higher  classes,  now  had  a  new  field  opened  up  to  it,  and 
so  enthusiastic  did  they  become  that  many  of  the  nobility 
spent  their  entire  fortunes  in  fitting  out  expeditions  for 
the  Holy  Land. 

In  1096  A.  D.  Chevalier  Godfred,  Duke  of  Brabant,  the 
old  ally  of  Henry  IV.,  raised  a  body  of  ten  thousand 
horse  and  seventy  thousand  infantry.  He  was  joined  by 
dukes,  counts  and  princes,  the  whole  number  of  the  cru- 
sading army  being  swelled  to  more  than  a  hundred  thou 


sand  men;  some  went  by  land,  the  French  separating  from 
the  main  body  and  crossing  the  Mediterranean  Sea.  Upon 
reaching  Greece,  their  commander,  Hugh  de  Vermandois,' 
was  seized  and  thrown  into  prison,  and  was  only  released 
upon  condition  that  he  acknowledge  Alexius,  Emperor  of 
Greece,  his  liege  lord.  There  was  no  alternative  to  the 
French  crusader,  and  he  took  the  oath.  When  Godfred 
arrived,  although  enraged  at  seeing  the  brother  of  the 
French  monarch  a  subject  of  Greece,  he,  in  order  to  gain 
.  an  ally,  took  the  oath  of  allegiance,  when  all  the  other 
princes  and  dukes  followed  his  example. 

But  through  hunger,  fevers,  and  the  battles  of  Antioch, 
and  the  siege  of  the  Mohammedan  commander,  Ker- 
bugha,  the  crusading  forces  were  greatly  reduced  —  some 
historians  say  to  not  more  than  three  thousand  knights  and 
thirty  thousand  men.  But  while  Kerbugha  was  playing  a 
game  of  chess  one  day  some  of  the  crusaders  succeeded 
in  planting  a  black  flag  upon  the  highest  tower  in  Antioch. 
Singing  hymns,  headed  by  Ademar,  the  Christians 
advanced  ujx)n  the  Turkish  camp,  and  put  their  army  to 
rout  ere  they  were  aware  of  what  had  taken  place.  Upon 
tlie  falling  of  the  Turks'  camp  into  the  hands  of  the  starving 
troops  of  Ademar,  a  public  thanksgiving  was  held  and 
Bohemund  was  made  Prince  of  Antioch. 

The  Mohammedans  no  longer  opposed  the  advance  of 
the  crusaders.  The  Caliph  of  Egypt  sent  presents  and 
gave  them  permission  to  worship  in  Jerusalem. 

Their  wearisome  pilgrimage  was  nearing  its  close. 
They  were  at  Necropolis,  and  as  all  were  impatient  to 
reach  the  goal,  the  remnant  of  the  army  marched  all  night. 
It  is  said  an  eclipse  of  the  moon  took  place  during  the 
night,  which  was  interpreted  to  mean  the  fall  of  the 
Mohammedan  Empire.  The  crescent  was  to  rule  no  more  in 


the  East.  Says  Menzel :  "  At  break  of.  day  on  the  10th  of 
June,  1099,  the  travel-worn  and  blood-stained  Christians 
reached  the  heights  of  Emaus,  and,  suddenly  beholding 
the  Holy  City,  with  one  accord  sank  upon  their  knees, 
kissed  the  sacred  soil,  and  sang  joyful  praises  to  God. 
But  difficulties  were  still  to  be  overcome ;  their  number 
had  diminished  to  less  than  two  thousand  horse  and 
twenty  thousand  foot.  The  country  around  Jerusalem 
was  an  arid  waste.  The  city  was  strongly  garrisoned, 
and  the  harbor  of  Joppa  was  blockaded.  But  a  Genoese 
fleet  succeeded  in  landing  its  troops,  who,  hurrying  to  the 
aid  of  the  Christian  forces,  assisted  them  in  constructing 
high  towers,  but  which,  upon  being  pushed  close  to  the 
walls  of  the  city,  were  destroyed  by  "  Greek  fire."  The 
pilgrims  then  began  to  march  around  the  city  in  solemn 
procession,  chanting  hymns,  and  Peter  .the  Hermit 
preached  from  the  Mount  of  Olives.  Their  enthusiasm 
now  rose  to  madness,  and  finally  two  men,  followed  by 
Duke  Gkxlfred,  mounted  the  battlements.  The  crusaders 
followed,  a  deadly  struggle  taking  place  within  the  wall, 
and  seventy  thousand  Mohammedans  were  slain.  The 
Jews  were  burnt  alive  in  their  synagogues.  Every  infidel, 
of  whatever  nation,  age  or  sex,  was  mercilessly  destroyed. 
Jerusalem  was  taken  July  15, 1099  a.  d.,  and  Godfred  was 
made  king.  His  brother,  Baldwin,  became  Prince  of 
Edessa ;  Bohemund  was  already  Prince  of  Antioch ;  Tan- 
cred  became  Count  of  Galilee.  These  being  placed  in 
charge,  the  others  of  prominence  returned  to  Europe. 

The  usual  troubles  of  the  successful  soon  overtook 
them,  however.  Internal  dissensions  between  the  victors 
followed;  and  so  fresh  crusades  were  inaugurated  for  two 
objects  —  to  reap  new  fame,  and  to  annihilate  the  Turk 
and  extirpate   Islamism   forever.     Many  battles  were 



fought  and  many  of  the  leaders  killed,  and  still  Islamism 

During  all  the  first  years,  and  until  the  taking  of 
Jerusalem  by  the  crusaders,  Henry  IV.  continued  Emperor 
of  Germany,  although  excommunication  had  been  pro- 
nounced against  him  again  by  Pasqual  II.,  the  Pope 
of  the  Church  party.  In  1104  his  youngest  and  most 
beloved  son,  Henry,  considering  his  father  too  old  for 
the  times,  rebelled  against  him.  His  cause  was  supported 
by  Pasqual,  and  the  nobility  who  were  opposed  to  his 
father ;  but  the  cities  remained  faithful  to  the  old  Emperor, 
with  one  exception.  The  two  armies  of  father  and  son 
were  brought  up  near  Eatisbon  for  the  contest,  when  the 
father,  in  the  sorrow  of  his  heart,  says  the  historian,  fled, 
perhaps  too  hastily.  He  still  had  many  adherents  in  the 
Rhine  country,  and  a  conference  was  proposed  between 
father  and  son.  The  Emperor  came,  and,  struck  to  the 
heart  at  sight  of  his  ingrate  child,  fell  at  his  feet  crying, 
"My  son,  my  sonl  If  I  am  to  be  punished  by  God  for 
my  sins,  stain  not  thine  honor,  for  it  is  unseemly  for  a  son 
to  sit  in  judgment  over  his  father."  This  unnatural  son 
appeared  to  feel  remorse  and  started  away  to  Majj'ence, 
where  the  Diet  was  being  held.  Succeeding  in  separating 
his  father  from  his  suite,  he  imprisoned  him  at  Bingen, 
where  the  old  Emperor  was  visited  by  several  Papal 
bishops  and  requested  to  give  up  the  crown  jewels. 

To  this  he  would  not  consent,  and  arraying  himself  with 
Charlemagne's  insignia  of  power,  he  defied  them  to  touch 
him.  The  bishops  were  unawed,  and  succeeded  in  gaining 
possession  of  the  jewels  and  carried  them  to  Mayence, 
where  they  were  placed  upon  the  person  of  his  son.  The 
Emperor  had  not  abdicated.  That  must  be  required  by 
the  Diet.    The  Emperor  wished  to  visit  Mayence  to  argue 


his  case,  but  his  son,  fearing  his  old  adherents  would  rally 
around  him,  would  only  allow  his  father  to  proceed  as  far 
as  Ingelheim,  when,  in  company  with  the  dukes  of  the 
realm,  his  son  compelled  him  to  sign  his  abdication.  After 
escaping  to  Spires,  and  being  refused  assistance  by  the 
Bishop,  whose  cathedral  the  Emperor  had  richly  endowed, 
it  is  said  the  old  King  was  obliged  to  sell  his  boots  for  the 
wherewithal  to  satisfy  his  hunger.  He  died  a.  d.  1106. 
Two  j'ears  after  his  son  was  proclaimed  Henry  V.  His 
favorite  saying  was  :  "  Men  have  much  and  various  knowl- 
edge, but  no  one  is  thoroughly  acquainted  with  himself." 
He  is  said  to  have  fought  sixty-five  battles.  The  son's 
experience  with  the  Popes  was  similar  to  his  father's.  He 
was  a  strong  character,  inheriting  many  traits  from  his 
father  and  grandfather,  Henry  III.  His  vigorous  gov- 
ernment soon  brought  down  upon  him  the  anger  of  his 
former  Papal  partisans,  and  it  was  not  long  before  Henry 
V.  was  excommunicated  by  a  synod  held  at  Vienna  and 
only  because  he  refused  to  cede  to  the  Pope  his  right  of 
investiture ;  in  other  words,  the  right  to  give  possession  of 
any  manor,  office,  or  benefice  to  a  subject.  The  Emperor 
took  no  notice  of  this  action  of  the  synod,  but  employed 
his  Chancellor,  Adalbert,  to  settle  the  matter  for  him  at 
Rome.  The  Chancellor,  as  commanded,  opened  negotia- 
tions u|X)n  the  basis  that  henceforth  the  strictest  division 
between  the  powers  of  State  and  Church  be  adhered  to  — 
"  the  State  never  to  meddle  with  ecclesiastical  aflFairs,  and 
the  Church  to  remain  unpossessed  of  lands  and  worldly 
wealth."  This  could  not  be  agreed  to  by  the  Church,  as 
the  Chancellor  well  knew.  But  the  basis  upon  which  the 
Church  would  agree  was  this :  That  the  Emperor  resign 
his  sole  right  to  investiture ;  also  the  sole  right  of  appoint- 
ing bishoi>s ;  to  disclaim  the  right  to  Church  lands  and  the 
royal  dues  from  Church  property. 


This  cut  short  further  negotiations,  and  Henry,  seizing 
the  persons  of  the  Pope  and  his  cardinals,  made  them  pris- 
oners. A  battle  ensued  between  the  Germans  and  Romans, 
in  which  the  Germans  were  victorious.  The  Romans, 
reduced  to  extreme  necessity,  urged  the  Pope  to  conclude 
a  treaty  of  peace  with  the  Emperor.  After  two  months' 
imprisonment  Pascal  yielded.  The  Emperor  was  to  retain 
the  right  of  investiture  and  Henry  was  never  to  be  excom- 
municated as  long  as  Pascal  lived,  and  so  Henry  V.  was 
crowned  April  13, 1111. 

Upon  the  Emperor's  return  to  Germany  the  Pope  was 
advised  to  declare  the  agreement  void,  it  having  been 
extorted  from  him  by  force.  The  dispute  now  raged  for 
ten  years.  Although  Pascal  did  not  excommunicate 
Hienry,  many  of  the  legates  and  heads  of  churches  did, 
which  occasioned  fresh  troubles  in  Germany  between  his 
adherents  and  the  Church  party. 

After  Henry's  Chancellor,  Adalbert,  deserted  him, 
and  whom  he  had  made  archbishop  of  Mentz,  frequent 
troubles  arose  in  the  north  of  Henry's  Empire. 

The  Saxons,  always  ready  for  rebellion,  joined  the 
ecclesiastical  party  in  favor  of  Lothair,  as  emperor  of 
Northern  Germany.  Henry  marched  against  them,  won 
a  victory,  and  the  next  year,  1114  a.  d.,  married  Matilda, 
the  daughter  of  the  king  of  England.  It  was  on  this 
splendid  occasion  that  Lothair  came  barefoot,  and,  upon 
his  knees,  begged  for  mercy. 

The  Emperor  had  seen  the  power  of  the  dukes  and 
other  rich  vassals  in  his  father's  thirty  years'  reign,  and 
determined  to  curtail  it  in  his.  These  efforts  raised  fresh 
conspiracies,  which  were  always  supported  by  the  ecclesi- 
astical party,  allied  with  the  French.  But  the  cities  were 
all  in  favor  of  the  Emperor,  and  whenever  he  called  upon 



them  for  men  or  means  they  liberally  responded.  Leaving 
Northern  Germany  to  take  care  of  itself  for  awhile,  and 
placing  Southern  Germany  under  the  guardianship  of  a 
trusty  Hohenstaufen,  Frederick  of  Swabia,  Ilenry  set  out 
with  a  large  army — 30,000  horse,  besides  infantry  and 
servitors — for  Italy.  Upon  his  approach  Pascal  II.  fled 
from  Eome,  and  the  imperial  crown  was  placed  upon 
Henrys  head  by  a  Portuguese  archbishop,  the  only  pre- 
late to  be  found  who  could  be  induced  to  perform  the  cer- 
emony. The  Emperor  now  proceeded  to  seize  the  rich 
lands  willed  to  the  Church  by  the  Countess  Matilda, 
Ilenry  insisting  that  such  ducal  property  should  revert  to 
the  crown.  Here  he  remained  for  two  years,  making 
friends.  Whilst  Germany  was  in  the  throes  of  a  mighty 
controversy  with  Rome  and  her  ally,  the  French,  the 
princes  and  dukes  continued  their  senseless  disputes,  so 
that  but  two  cities,  Cologne  and  Munster,  remained  zeal- 
ous supporters  of  Henry,  the  former  opening  her  gates  to 
receive  the  Emperor  and  the  latter  expelling  the  papal 

In  1122  a  partial  revulsion  of  feeling  seems  to  have 
taken  place.  Henry  had  succeeded  in  surrounding 
Mayence,  where  Adalbert,  his  former  Chancellor,  but  now 
at  the  head  of  the  Papal  forces,  was  encamped.  The 
Saxons  marched  to  the  relief  of  Adalbert,  but  upon  being 
met  with  such  intense  opprobrium  by  the  other  Germans, 
they  became  ashamed  and  a  parley  was  held.  A  treaty 
of  peace  was  held  at  "Worms,  where  it  was  settled  that  the 
Pope  should  have  the  right  to  invest  the  bishop  with  ring 
and  crozier,  but  the  election  should  be  made  in  the  pres- 
ence of  the  Emperor  or  his  representative ;  that  the  new 
bishop  receive  his  estates  as  a  fief  of  the  crown,  etc.  By 
this  concession  the  bishops  were  more  dependent  upon 

Koiiig  ^ricbrid?  1. 



Rome  than  upon  the  Emperor,  and  the  throne  was  corre- 
s|X)ndingly  weakened.  Henry  was  freed  from  the  inter- 
dict A.  D.  1122.  Soon  after  a  war  broke  out  between 
England  and  France,  and  the  Emperor's  brother-in-law. 
Prince  William,  having  been  drowned,  Henry  V.,  Emperor 
of  Germany,  was  next  in  succession  to  the  throne  of 
England.  The  Emperor  left  no  means  untried  to  unite 
Germany  and  England  in  this  struggle  against  France 
and  the  papal  power.  But  the  princelings,  grafs  and 
dukes  only  saw  the  diminishing  power  of  the  vassals  and 
the  increasing  power  of  the  State  in  such  a  union  and 
refused  to  come  to  Henry's  aid. 

The  Emperor  was  neither  supported  in  his  endeavors 
to  lessen  the  troubles  of  the  people.  Says  Menzel :  "  He 
expired  in  the  prime  of  life,  with  the  bitter  consciousness 
of  the  defeat  of  all  the  schemes  for  the  sake  of  which  he 
had  acted  so  criminally  toward  his  father.  A  bad  son, 
but  a  great  emperor,  whom  misfortune  might  destroy  but 
could  not  bend."  Henry  V.  left  no  heir,  and  bequeathed 
his  inheritance  to  Conrad  and  Frederick  of  Hohenstaufen, 
the  sons  of  his  faithful  adherent,  Frederick  of  Swabia. 


At  the  close  of  the  reign  of  Henry  V. "  the  Church  came 
forward  as  a  new  power,  with  its  resources  better  organized 
than  those  of  the  Emperor,  with  a  deeper  influence  over  the 
I^eople."  Therefore  it  came  to  the  point  at  last  with  Henry 
that  the  strength  of  the  crown  lay  alone  in  his  personal 
following.  Henry  V.  was  the  last  ruler  of  the  Franconian 
dynasty.  The  next  Emperor  was  Lothaire  H.,  elected  by 
the  four  nations,  the  Saxons,  the  Franks,  the  Bavarians  and 
the  Swabians,  in  the  year  1125  a.  d.  He  was  elected  on 
account  of  the  support  he  had  given  to  the  papal  party 


while  Duke  of  Saxony.  He  succeeded  in  defeating  the 
Hohenstaufens,  whom  Henry  V.  had  made  his  heirs,  in 
several  battles.  His  reign  was  marked  by  the  Diet  of 
Magdeburg,  a.  d.  1135,  at  which  the  first  regulations  of 
the  German  Empire  were  framed.  He  died  a.  d.  1137. 
At  his  death  the  great  struggle  between  Church  and 
State,  which  had  commenced  with  Henry  IV.  and  was 
destined  to  become  the  burning  question  for  centuries, 
was  now  openly  avowed  and  sides  taken."  On  one 
side  stood  the  pontiff  at  Kome  supported  by  France  and 
an  un-German  faction  in  the  Empire  called  "  Guelphs."  On 
the  other  side  was  the  "Emperor,  who,  besides  defend- 
ing the  prerogatives  of  the  State  against  the  encroach- 
ments of  the  Church,  sought  more  especially  to  uphold 
the  interests  and  honor  of  the  German  nation  against 
the  Italians  and  French,  in  pursuance  of  which  he  was 
but  too  often  treacherously  abandoned  by  his  own  party 
in  Germany."  They  were  the  Hohenstaufens  and  were 
called  the  Ghibellines  from  Frederick's  birth-place. 


In  the  election  which  took  place  1138  the  Hohenstaufen, 
Conrad  III.,  was  elected  Emperor  because  he  was  favored 
by  the  Pope.  He  is  represented  as  having  been  a  man  of 
great  beauty  and  intelligence.  Scarcely  had  he  been 
invested  with  regal  power  when  the  old  feud  broke  out. 
The  clergy  themselves  were  not  a  unit  in  their  oppo- 
sition, some  of  the  convents  and  monasteries  objecting  to 
the  control  of  local  bishops,  claiming  to  be  only  respon 
sible  directly  to  the  Pope  at  Rome. 

The  former  personal  and  communal  independence  of 
the  people  was  fast  passing  away.  The.Church  assumed  the 
all-directing  power,  to  which  the  princes,  as  well  as  the 


lowly  Gerraau  peasants  were  required  to  bear  unquestion- 
ing allegiance.  To  this  slavish  obedience  the  Hohenstauf  en 
objected,  and  the  population  of  the  cities  and  towns  in 
whose  breasts  stiU  burned  the  old  German  spirit  of  national 
independence,  rose  up  to  aid  the  Emperor  in  throwing  off 
the  ecclesiastical  yoke.  A  characteristic  episode  is  related 
of  Conrad's  early  reign.  In  a  siege  which  had  lasted  for 
some  time  against  the  fortified  town  of  Weinsberg,  the 
Emperor  commanding  the  "  Ghibellines,"  and  Henry  the 
Lion,  duke  of  Bavaria,  the  "  Guelphs,"  or  the  contending 
factions,  a  battle  was  fought  outside  the  walls.  Conrad 
was  victorious  over  his  rebellious  subjects.  All,  with  the 
exception  of  a  small  detachment  of  Guelphs  entrenched 
behind  the  walls  of  the  town,  acknowledged  their  defeat : 
but  these  absolutely  refused  to  surrender.  This,  show  of 
stubbornness  so  enraged  the  Emperor  that  he  resolved  to 
wreak  vengeance  upon  the  obstreperous  garrison.  He  com- 
manded that  only  the  women  and  children  should  be 
allowed  to  walk  out  unharmed,  but  the  men  should  be  put 
to  the  sword,  while  the  city  was  to  be  given  over  to  the 
soldiery  for  pillage.  Famine  at  last  compelled  the  garrison 
to  accept  the  Emperor's  terms.  The  women  marched  out, 
and,  throwing  themselves  at  the  feet  of  Conrad,  suppli- 
cated him  to  modify  his  terms  of  surrender.  Conrad  at 
last  impatiently  replied :  "Well,  in  God's  name,  each  of 
you  may  take  what  she  can  carry  from  the  city  on  her 
back,  and  be  gone  in  peace;  but  no  more.  This  is  all  I 
will  grant. "  The  astonishment  of  the  Emperor  can  be 
imagined  when,  at  daybreak  the  following  morning  and 
the  evacuation  was  to  begin,  he  and  his  soldiers  beheld  the 
women  coming  from  the  gates  bearing  upon  their  backs 
each  a  husband,  brother  or  lover  through  the  open  gate. 
This  womanly  and  unselfish  act  so  affected  the  Emperor 


that  ho  permitted  the  whole  garrison  to  withdraw  without 
hindrance  or  molestation. 

Conrad  went  on  a  crusade,  supported  by  the  French, 
but  both  armies  were  almost  deciminated ;  Conrad  sick, 
and  Louis  of  France  discomfited,  both  Emperors  returned 
to  their  respective  dominions,  determined,  for  the  time 
being  at  least,  to  let  the  Turks  have  the  East.  His  son 
dying,  Conrad  did  not  long  survive  him. 

Conrad,  the  first  Hohenstauf en,  reigned  fourteen  years 
(a.  d.  1152).  The  double  eagle  was  introduced  by  him  into 
the  arms  of  the  Empire.  It  was  taken  from  the  arms  of 
the  Greek  Emperor,  and  was  symbolic  of  the  ancient 
Eastern  and  Western  Empire. 

There  being  no  opposition  to  the  claim  of  Conrad's 
nephew,  Frederick  Barbarossa,  the  crown  was  solemnly 
placed  upon  his  liead  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  in  1152,  with  the 
title  of  Frederick  I.  "  He  was  remarkable,"  says  history, 
"for  his  handsome  and  manly  appearance,  the  genuine 
German  cast  of  his  countenance,  which  distinguished  the 
whole  family,  and  powerfully  conduced  to  their  popularity." 
Short-cropped,  blonde  hair,  curling  closely  over  a  broad 
and  massive  foi^head,  blue  eyes,  well-curved  lips,  a  fair, 
white  skin,  well -formed  and  muscular,  combined  with  sim- 
plicity in  dress  and  manners,  and  a  pleasing  portrait  of  this 
noble  chevalier  is  had.  His  beard,  which  inclined  to  red, 
gained  for  him  the  Italian  sobriquet,  "  Barbarossa."  His 
accession  to  the  throne  was  under  the  most  favorable 
conditions,  to  wit :  with  the  sanction  of  all  the  heretofore 
warfaring  princes.  A  peaceable  reign  was  therefore  pre- 
dicted, but  such  was  far  from  being  the  fact.  "  Ever  mind- 
ful of  the  greatness  of  his  destiny,  Frederick  was  at  once 
firm  and  persevering,  a  deep  politician  and  a  wise  states- 
man.     He  directed  his  principal  attention  to  his  most 


dangerous  enemy,  the  papal  party."  Bestowing  prizes, 
such  as  the  crown  of  Denmark  to  Sueno,  and  the  Duchy 
of  Bavaria  in  reversion  to  Henry  the  Lion,  and  more  to 
those  opposed  to  Hohenstaufen  rule,  he  made  preparations 
to  march  into  the  heart  of  the  enemy's  country.  Too 
proud  to  bend  the  knee  to  the  ecclesiastical  powers  in  Italy, 
and  deeming  it  his  duty  to  jealously  guard  the  imperial 
dignity  of  the  German  crown,  he  determined  to  secure  the 
peace  of  his  empire  by  the  imposition  of  shackles  upon  the 
Pope.  He  believed  the  pontiff  would  never  suffer  him  to 
remain  peacefully  in  possession  of  his  rights,  and  therefore 
he  must  carry  on  the  war  in  his  adversary's  habitation 
and  among  his  ranks. 

Accordingly,  in  ]  164,  two  years  after  being  crowned, 
Frederick  crossed  the  Alps,  and  called  all  the  Italian 
dukes  and  princes  with  their  vassals,  to  act  as  his  body- 
guard in  the  field.  All  who  refused  were  to  forfeit  their 
fiefs.  The  Ghibellines  obeyed  but  the  Guelphs  refused. 
Milan  sent  a  defiant  answer.  As  the  city  was  too  well 
fortified  to  attack,  the  Emperor  proceeded  to  level  to  the 
ground  the  surrounding  cities  in  communication  commer- 
cially with  Milan.  At  Pavia  he  seized  the  iron  crown  of 
Lombardy  (Italy)  and  began  negotiations  with  Hadrian 
IV.  to  crown  him.  Home  trembled  at  Frederick's 
approach.  "The  Pope  solemnlj^  crowned  him  at  St. 
Peter's,  and  the  Emperor  in  return  held  the  stirrup  of 
Hadrian,  which,  being  interpreted,  meant  that  the  spirit- 
ual power  could  not  retain  its  empire  without  the  aid  of 
the  temporal.  Frederick  caused  the  picture  representing 
Lothair's  acceptance  of  the  crown  in  fee  from  the  Pope  to 
be  burnt,  and  expressed  his  displeasure  at  the  artful  manner 
in  which  the  Church  falsely  sought  to  extend  her  authority 
by  saying :  "  God  has  raised  the  Church  by  means  of  the 


Stale,  but  the  Church  seeks  to  overthrow  the  State.  She 
has  commenced  by  painting  and  from  painting  has  pro- 
ceeded to  writing.  Writing  will  gain  the  mastery  over 
all,  if  we  permit  it.  Efface  your  pictures  and  rewrite 
your  documents,  that  peace  maybe  preserved  between 
the  State  and  Church." 

Troubles  arising  at  home,  the  Emperor  was  forced  to 
return  to  Germany  in  1156,  his  two  years'  siege  in  Italy 
yielding  no  satisfactory  results.  Difficulties  arose  in  Bur- 
gundy, which  were  no  sooner  settled  than  Poland  was  in 
arms.  Peace  being  secured,  Milan  was  found  in  insur- 
rection over  the  collection  of  a  tax.  Frederick  was  again 
over  the  Alps  with  an  army  of  115,000  men,  and  Milan, 
after  a  year's  siege,  capitulated.  He  now  ruled  Italy  with 
a  rod  of  iron.  Being  called  back  to  Germany  to  settle 
feuds,  this  task  was  soon  finished  by  unseating  one  duke 
and  placing  a  faithful  vassal  in  his  empty  place. 

In  1164,  Pope  Victor  dying,  Frederick,  with  England, 
acknowledged  Pasqual  III.  as  the  rightful  Pontiff,  while 
the  papal  faction  chose  Alexander  III. 

This  decision  caused  Alexander  to  lookout  for  himself. 
The  German  army  had  openly  affirmed  "they  wanted 
nothing  but  gold."  This  had  raised  the  whole  Italian  people 
against  them,  and  Alexander  made  a  triumphal  entry  into 
Home  A.D.  1165,  and  there  excommunicated  the  Emperor. 

Again  Frederick  was  off  for  Italy,  where  he  invested 
Pasqual  with  the  tiara,  and  himself  was  a  second  time 
crowned  Emperor  in  St.  Peter's,  1167  His  fine  army  was 
nearly  destroyed  by  a  pestilence.  On  his  retreat  beyond 
the  Alps,  being  hotly  pursued,  he  ordered  the  hostages 
taken  by  his  army  to  be  hanged  by  the  roadside.  He 
narrowly  escaped  death  himself,  the  Knight  von  Sieben- 
eichen  placing  himself  in  the  Emperor's  bed  while  the  lat- 
ter escaped  under  cover  of  night. 


In  1174  Barbarossa  again  crossed  the  Alps,  compelling 
Henry  the  Lion,  of  whom  he  was  always  suspicious,  to  per- 
form field  duty.  The  Lombard  League  assembled  an 
immense  army  to  oppose  the  Emperor.  In  1176  a  decisive 
battle  was  fought  near  Lake  Como.  Frederick  was  most 
disastrously  defeated.  He  was  reported  dead  for  some 
days,  but  appearing  at  Pavia,  where  he  found  his  wife  in 
mourning  for  him,  he  was  forced  to  acknowledge  Alexan- 
der as  Pope.  The  next  year,  at  Venice,  some  historians 
say,  Barbarossa  was  compelled  to  submit  to  the  humiliation 
of  lying  prone  upon  the  floor  with  Pope  Alexander's  foot 
upon  his  neck.  Whether  true  or  false,  the  Emperor  was 
subdued,  and  soon  after  returned  to  Germany  to  discipline 
Henry  the  Lion.  This  duke,  who  was  son-in-law  of  Eng- 
land's King,  was  exiled  by  Barbarossa  for  three  years. 

Peace  now  reigned  in  Frederick's  domains,  but  the 
Emperor  was  never  to  know  rest.  The  news  that  Saladin, 
the  Sultan  of  Egypt,  had  succeeded  in  recapturing  the 
Holy  City,  which  had  been  in  the  hands  of  the  Christians 
for  eighty-eight  years,  with  the  added  information  that 
the  golden  cross  upon  the  church  spire  of  the  Holy 
Sepulcher  had  been  thrown  to  the  ground  and  the  cres- 
cent substituted,  created  profound  consternation  through- 
out all  Christendom,  causing,  it  is  said,  a  terrible  shock 
to  the  Pope,  from  the  effects  of  which  he  soon  died. 
His  successor,  Clement  HI.,  called  upon  the  people  and 
princes  to  hasten  to  the  rescue  of  the  Holy  City.  In 
response  to  his  fervent  appeals  crusaders  from  all  parts  of 
the  Empire  flocked  to  Eegensburg  to  offer  their  services 
to  Barbarossa.  Although  seventy  years  old,  the  Emperor 
placed  his  son  Henry  in  charge  of  affairs  at  home,  and,  at 
the  head  of  an  army  of  150,000  men,  set  out  for  Palestine. 

Scarcely  had  he   reached  the  borders  of  the  Greek 


Empire  when  his  hardships  began.  Isaac,  the  Emperor  of 
Greece,  contenting  himself  with  calling  himself  "The 
Holy,"  allowed  the  famishing  army  of  European  crusaders 
to  shift  for  itself.  Barbarossa,  having  formerly  declined 
to  acknowledge  the  Emperor's  suzerainity,  or  to  do  him 
homage,  many  difficulties  naturally  met  the  Emperor  of 
Germany  everywhere.  His  army  was  refused  provisions ; 
upon  which  Barbarossa  gave  his  soldiers  license  to  plun- 
der and  devastate  the  beautiful  country  of  Greece.  With 
this  wholesome  example  before  him  Isaac  "the  Holy" 
was  soon  brought  to  terms.  Placing  his  entire  fleet  at  the 
disposal  of  Barbarossa,  the  army  was  enabled  to  reach 
Asia  Minor.  They  were  met  by  a  swarming  horde  of 
Turks  and  Arabs,  whose  forces,  in  several  engagements, 
were  beaten  by  the  crusaders.  Before  the  battle  of 
Iconium,  when  Barbarossa's  arm  v  had  been  reduced  to  less 
than  ten  thousand  active  men,  the  aged  Emperor  hastened 
to  the  front,  and  while  encouraging  his  troops  the  old 
Hohenstaufen  war  cry  was  borne  to  his  ears  upon  the 
breeze,  at  which  note  of  encouragement  Barbarossa's  son 
hurried  forward  with  a  portion  of  the  army,  defeated  the 
Turks  and  entered  the  city  of  Iconium.  Putting  great  num- 
bers of  the  inhabitants  to .  death,  the  crusaders  obtained 
immense  booty.  Barbarossa,  believing  his  son  to  be  lost, 
burst  into  tears,  upon  wliich  his  whole  bodyguard  fell  to 
weeping.  Surrounded  by  the  Sultan's  forces,  there  ap- 
peared no  way  of  escape  for  the  Emperor ;  but,  being 
equal  to  the  occasion,  old  as  he  was,  he  rose  to  his 
feet,  crying  out,  "  Christ  still  conquers ! "  headed  his 
chivalry,  assaulted  the  enemy  and  gained  a  great  victory. 
Reaching  Iconium,  where  plenty  reigned,  the  army  was 
united  and  a  forward  march  soon  ordered.  Reaching 
the  small  river  Seleph,  tho  road  becoming  blocked,  Bar- 

jriebrid)  IPiltielm  T.  oor  feincn  t&ttnMntn. 


TO  END  OF  THE   H0H£N8TAUF£Nd.  129 

barossa,  impatient  to  cross,  attempted  to  ford  the  stream. 
Owing  to  the  heaviness  of  his  mail,  he  was  carried  under 
by  the  current  and  drowned.  His  body  was  brought 
to  shore  by  his  trusty  knights   and  buried  at  Antioch, 

A.  D.  1190. 

The  news  of  the  renowned  Emperor's  death  caused 
great  consternation  in  the  army,  and  for  years  it  was  not 
believed  in  Germany. 

Said  a  French  writer  of  that  period:  "  News  so  deadly 
piercing,  even  to  the  marrow  and  bone,  has  wounded  me 
so  mortally  that  all  hope  and  desire  of  life  have  passed 
from  me.  For  I  hnve  heard  that  that  immovable  pillar  of 
the  Empire,  Germany's  tower  of  strength  and  its  very 
foundation,  and  that  morning  star  which  surpassed  all 
other  stars  in  splendor,  Frederick  the  mighty,  has  ended 
his  life  in  the  East.  Thus  no  longer  exists  that  strong 
lion  whose  majestic  countenance  and  powerful  arm 
frightened  savage  animals  from  devastation,  subjected 
rebels  and  made  robbers  live  in  peace  and  order.'* 

A  legend  still  exists,  showing  the  always  prevailing  hope 
that  the  unity  of  the  German  people  might  be  again  realized 
under  the  insigna  of  the  double  eagle.  It  is  as  follows : 
The  ghost  of  the  Emperor  Frederick  having  passed  into 
his  castle,  '  Kylf  hauser  Berg,"  in  Wui*temberg,  in  a  deep, 
cavern  there  he  sits,  his  arms  resting  upon  a  granite  table, 
and  sleeps.  His  yellow  beard  has  grown  up  through  the 
granite  during  his  long  and  troubled  slumbers.  At  the 
end  of  every  century  he  awakes  and  asks,  "Are  the  ravens 
still  flying  over  the  mountain  i "  If  answered,  "  They 
are,  and  no  eagle  has  appeared  to  drive  them  away,"  he 
replies  sadly,  "  Must  I  then  sleep  a  century  more  ? " 

Barbarossa  was  followed  by  four  emperors  of  the 


Hohenstaufen  dynasty;  Conrad  IV.,  a  youth  of  seventeen 
being  the  la-st. 

"The  little  church,"  says  Menzel,  "to  which  it  was 
Barbarossa's  custom  to  descend  from  the  castle  to  hear 
mass  still  stands,  and  over  the  walled-up  door  may  be  read 
the  words,  Ilic  t/ransibdt  CcBsar,  Portraits  of  the  Emperor 
Barbarossa  and  his  wife,  Beatrice,  may  be  seen  at  Welz- 
heim,  near  the  church." 

Under  this  dynasty  the  order  of  knighthood  reached 
us  Highest  splendor.  The  wara  with  the  East  had  intro- 
duced new  fashions  and  brilliant  colors.  The  army  had 
enriched  the  country  with  Eastern  fabrics  brought  from 
the  thriving  Italian  cities,  and  from  the  Oriental  mer- 

The  armies  were  dressed  in  woven  mail,  and  resembled 
"  glistening  snakes,"  as  the  Turks  declared. 

The  principal  entertainment  furnished  the  people  was 
the  tournament,  under  the  patronage  of  the  nobihty  and 
participated  in  by  the  chivalrous  knights.  These  public 
exhibitions  were  as  far  elevated  above  the  brutal  gladia- 
torial entertainments  of  Rome  as  the  humanitarian  religion 
of  this  young  German  people  was  elevated  above  the  dil  u  ted 
religion  of  Rome's  highest  civilization. 

These  orders  were  founded  upon  the  principle  that 
right  only  deserved  the  succor  of  might.  A  solemn  oath 
was  taken  in  the  presence  of  a  prince  or  the  Emperor  not 
to  draw  the  sword  except  for  a  noble  cause.  Then  came 
the  religious  orders  of  knighthood,  for  the  object  of  war- 
ring against  the  infidels  in  the  East  and  in  their  own  land. 
These  were  known  as  "  The  German  Order  of  Knights," 
"The  Brothers  of  the  Sword,"  etc. 

But  it  cannot  be  denied  that  however  much  the  pros- 
perity of  the  German  Empire  was  enhanced  under  the 


Hohenstaufens,  the  liberties  of  the  people  were  more  and 
more  limited.  The  agricultural  classes  were  reduced  to  a 
state  of  simple  slavery.  All  treated  them  alike;  nobility, 
knights,  clergy  and  tradesmen.  The  class  known  as  free 
men,  formerly  tillers  of  the  soil,  had  almost  disappeared. 
The  only  recompense  this  agricultural  class  received  for 
the  loss  of  their  liberties  was  the  draining  of  vast  tracts 
of  swampy  lands  in  Germany,  the  introduction  of  valua- 
ble grains  and  the  cultivation  of  tlie  grape.  The  Inliabi- 
taira  of  the  towns  and  cities  were,  however,  fast  gaining 
in  power  and  influence.  They  wei'e  permitted  to  regulate 
their  local  affairs  as  pleased  them  best,  being  directl}^ 
responsible  to  the  Emperors  themselves.  Of  course,  the 
old  class  distinctions  still  religiously  prevailed ;  there  was 
still  the  domestic  class,  the  tradesmen  and  merchant  class ; 
these  making  common  cause  against  the  nobles,  their  pre- 
rogatives were  considerably  curtailed  towards  the  end  of 
the  twelfth  century. 

The  cities  of  Frankfort,  Mayence,  Cologne,  Nuremberg, 
Augsburg  and  others  were  teeming  with  newly  created 
workshops,  filled  with  artisans.  Their  merchants  were 
pushing  trade  to  the  new  East  and  North.  The  cities, 
having  been  leagued  together,  in  time  became  the  fore- 
most and  most  wealthy  cities  in  the  world,  styling  them- 
selves "The  Hansa  Confederation."  Great  progress  was 
made  in  agriculture.  It  was  at  about  this  period,  a.  d. 
1248,  that  the  foundation  was  laid  for  the  magnificent 
cathedral  at  Cologne  by  the  Freemasons,  and  v/hich  was 
finished  after  William  III.  had  again  established  a  Ger- 
man Empire.  This  period  in  Germany's  history  is  also 
marked  by  the  revival  of  letters.  The  songs  of  the  Niehe- 
lungen,  by  an  unknown  author — an  epic  poem  similar 
to  Homer,  and  from  which  the  world-renowned  music- 


composer,  Wagner,  has  taken  the  stories  of  most  of  his 
operas — was  written  in  the  twelfth  century.  The  Hohen- 
staufen  princes  produced  a  number  of  authors  classed  under 
the  term  mirmesingera  (troubadours).  Among  the  many 
writers  of  what  was  called  minndieder  (love  songs)  was 
Von  TBogelweide,  who  sang  not  only  of  love  but  of 
national  glory  and  the  corruption  that  began  to  prevail 
in  Church  and  State,  such  as  the  purchase  of  benefices 
and  the  selling  of  titles  of  nobility.  These  early  poets 
began  in  literature  what  was  finished  six  centuries  after  by 
Goethe,  Schiller,  Lessing  and  others.  To  the  student  of 
German  history  these  early  Teutons  furnished  heroes  and 
heroines  worthy  the  task  of  the  most  lofty  imagina- 
tion. "  It  was  a  period  when  the  practice  of  chastity  and 
continence  bestowed  the  blessings  of  health  and  strength 
upon  the  ruling  people  of  Germany,  and  they  had  reached 
a  state  when  loftiness  of  sentiment  was  synonymous  with 
the  term,  ^chivalrous  in  purpose.'"  Tbe  reign  of  the 
Hohenstaufen  dynasty  represents  tlie  most  glorious  period 
of  German  history  during  the  middle  ages. 

With  the  fall  of  the  Hohenstaufens  the  whole  of  Bur- 
gundy was  lost  to  the  German  Empire.  Naples  and  Sicily 
followed,  and  Lorabardy  continued  only  to  show  the  sem- 
blance of  obedience.  However,  this  loss  was  compensated 
for  in  the  annexation  of  the  Prussian  territory.  These 
people  had  been  christianized  by  the  "  Brothers  of  the 
Sword,"  much  in  the  same  compulsory  manner  as  Charle- 
mange  had  christianized  the  Saxons. 

These  Prussians  were  a  wild,  independent  people,  gov- 
erned by  chiefs  and  their  priests,  living  principally  by  the 
chase  and  agriculture,  and  in  frequent  depredations  upon 
the  neigboring  country  of  Poland.  Although  the  "  Broth- 
ers of  the  Sword,"  claimed  great  credit  in  the  christian- 


KSnig  ^tbridr  11.  (i>tt  (Srogt). 
Klag  Frederic  1 1  (the  Great). 



izing  of  these  Prussians,  the  civilizing  influence  of  the 
traders  from  the  commercial  cities  in  Germany  was,  prob- 
ably, the  most  eflfective  agency  in  their  conversion. 

Between  1232  and  1256  a.  d.,  many  of  the  neighboring 
inoabitants  moved  into  Prussia  and  became  absorbed  with 
the  native  population. 

.  f 




FOE  nearly  twenty-five  years  after  the  death  of  Con- 
rad IV.,  the  last  of  the  Hohenstaufen  dynasty,  Ger- 
many was  in  a  state  of  anarchy.  The  decline  of  the 
imperial  power,  as  well  as  the  great  growth  of  the  cities, 
had  increased  the  assumptions  to  power  of  the  princes 
and  their  several  grades  from  the  highest  dignity  down ; 
these  w^ere  now  called  the  "  States  of  the  Empire."  These 
estates  were  jealously  guarding  their  territory  as  well  as 
their  individual  and  collective  prerogatives.  There  were 
the  princes,  the  dukes,  the  margraves,  landgraves,  counts, 
barons,  archbishops,  bishops,  convents  and  cities,  each 
striving  to  attain  the  ideal  ancient  freedom  enjoyed  by 
their  German  ancestors.  Some  called  themselves  "free 
of  the  Empire "  while  others  called  themselves  "  free  of 
the  great  feudal  lords." 

Constant  encounters  took  place  between  these  small 
and  large  estates.  Sieges  and  combats  wore  the  years 
away,  until  the  belligerents  themselves  wearied  of  this 
state  of  eternal  contention,  and  determined  to  terminate 
it,  and  also,  because  Gregory  X.  had  threatened  to  ap- 
point an  Emperor  unless  speedy  action  was  taken  in  the 
matter  by  themselves.  They  finally  decided  upon  Rudolph 
of  Hapsburg,  a.  d.  1273.  He  was  the  founder  of  the 
present  dynasty  of  Austria. 

The  uncompromising  warfare  which  had  been  waged 
by  the  Ilohenstaufens  against  the  ecclesiastical  powers  at 
Eome  was  not  resumed  by  the  Hapsburgs,  the  elevation 
to  power  of  Eudolph  being  aided  by  the  Papal  party. 


I  / 


Although  possessing  but  a  small  strip  of  territory  in 
Switzerland,  upon  which  stood  the  Hawkscastle,  and  a 
similar  estate  near  the  Khine  iii  Swabia,  he  was  from  an 
old  and  noble  family  whose  ancestry  dated  back  to  the 
seventh  century.  Intelligent  and  courageous,  he  became 
an  able  adviser  in  the  councils  of  the  estates,  and  an  effi- 
cient conwrninder  in  the  field.  Ilis  elevation  to  the  throne 
was  received  with  demonstrations  of  joy.  Holding  aloft 
a  cross,  in  place  of  the  usual  scepter,  on  the  occasion  of 
his  coronation,  he  said:  "Under  this  emblem  the  whole 
world  has  been  redeemed;  it  is  the  best  scepter  under 
which  emperors  can  rule."  This  sentiment,  embodying 
peace  on  earth  and  good  will  to  men,  was  received  by  thg^ 
people  with  enthusiasm.  (^  The  only  prince  that  refused  to 
swear  allegiance  to  the  new  Emperor  was  Ottocar,  of 
Bohemia.  He  raised  the  standard  of  revolt,  openly  pro- 
claiming his  intention  to  establish  a  separate  Sclavonic 
Empire.  Ottocar  declared  war  and  marched  against 
Budolph,  and  was  defeated  and  killed  near  Vienna,  a.  d. 
1278.  Rudolph  allowed  Ottocar's  son  to  still  hold  Bohemia, 
but  the  Duchy  of  Austria  he  presented  to  his  son  Albert^ 
Budolph  never  ventured  beyond  the  Alps  to  secure 
for  the  crown  Germany's  rights  and  privileges  in  Italy. 
Gregory  X.  came  in  person  to  Lausanne  to  bless  him,  in 
order  that  he  should  have  no  excuse  for  visiting  Rome. 
Rudolph  humbly  knelt  at  the  pontiflPs  feet,  and  promised 
unconditional  obedience.  Derided  for  this  act  by  one  of 
his  subjects,  he  replied : 

"Rome  is  the  lion's  den,  into  which  all  footsteps  enter- 
ing, never  return ;  I  therefore  prefer  to  serve  rather  than 
fight  the  lion  of  the  Church." 

Rudolph^s  principal  solicitude   during  his  reign  was 


the  promotion  of  the  internal  interests  of  Germany,  and 
the  furtherance  of  the  peaceful  avocations  of  the  people. 
With  these  important  reforms  in  view,  he  was  not,  how- 
ever, neglectful  of  his  own  private  interests.  The  lack  of 
territory  experienced  by  his  family  he  felt  in  duty  bound 
to  remedy,  and  this  disposition  cost  him  the  most  of  the 
troubles  of  his  nineteen  years'  rule. 

Having  married  his  daughters  to  the  Dukes  of  Bavaria 
and  Saxony,  and  another  daughter  to  the  restored  heir  of 
Bohemia,  son  of  Ottocar — excellent  matches  for  the  exten- 
sion of  his  power — ^he  presented  the  Duchy  of  Austria  to 
his  eldest  son  Albert,  and  to  Rudolph  the  younger  the  old 
Hapsburg  estates  in  Switzerland  and  Swabia.  At  the  age 
of  sixty-six  he  married  Isabelle  of  Burgundy,  a  child  of 

He  substituted  the  German  language  for  the  Latin  in 
the  recording  of  all  official  documents  of  his  Empire. 

At  the  refusal  of  the  Frankfort  Diet  to  choose  his  son 
Albert  his  successor,  bowed  down  with  disappointment, 
the  old  Emperor  started  for  Spire,  and  died  on  the  way 
at  the  age  of  seventy-three,  a.  d.  1291.  Through  the 
haughty  and  grasping  character  of  his  sons,  who  were  not 
possessed  of  their  father's  politic  nature  nor  inspired  by 
his  generous  aims  for  the  welfare  of  the  people,  the  Haps- 
burg dynasty  lost  much  of  its  early  prestige./ 

The  electoral  princes  accordingly  set  Albert  aside,  and 
raised  Count  Adolphus  of  Nassau  to  the  imperial  throne. 
Soon  discovering  that  Adolphus  was  determined  to  give 
the  people  a  more  liberal  government,  the  princes  turned 
again  to  Albert,  and  persuaded  him  to  raise  an  army 
against  their  Emperor.  The  electors  claimed  that  Adol- 
phus had  received  a  subsidy  of  a  hundred  thousand  pounds 

(Eljfalictb  £t)rii)ine,  <9<;maf)lin  jriebcidi's  II 



from  England  to  become  its  ally  against  France,  but, 
reconsidering  the  matter,  had  failed  to  carry  out  the  con- 
tract or  to  return  the  money.  He  was  called  before  the 
electors,  but  ignored  their  right  to  try  him,  when  he  was 
deposed.  "War  ensued,  when  Adolphus  was  slain  by 
Albert's  own  lance.  Upon  Albert's  accession  he  attempted 
to  subjugate  a  part  of  Switzerland.  Many  of  the  cities 
and  smaller  communities  had  been  allowed  to  retain  their 
ancient  local  privileges,  but  Albert  claiming  authority 
through  imperial  power  and  the  possession  of  Swiss  terri- 
tory, began  a  series  of  oppressions,  through  the  aid  of  his 
Austrian  coadjutors  or  deputy  governors.  Of  these  small 
autocrats,  clothed  with  quasi-judicial  powers  and  sent  to 
Switzerland,  were  Beringer  von  Landenberg  and  Gessler 
of  Bruneck. 

The  Hapsburgs  claimed  the  shepherds  of  Schwj^z  and 
Unterwalden  as  serfs,  which  the  shepherds  declared 
illegal,  producing  a  document  signed  by  former  Emperors 
of  Germany  in  evidence  of  their  freedom.  Albert  was 
determined,  nevertheless,  as  Emperor  of  Germany,  to 
abolish  the  local  differences  of  privileges  and  to  subject 
the  free  communes  to  imperial  rule.  His  governors 
proved  neither  unwilling  nor  slow  in  obedience  to  his 
commands.  As  an  illustration  of  some  of  the  persecutions 
suffered  by  the  Swiss  under  Albert's  governors,  the  old 
chronicle  of  Tschudi  has  the  following :  "  In  the  year  of 
our  Lord  1307  there  dwelt  a  pious  countryman  in  Unter- 
wald,  whose  name  was  Henry  of  Melchthal ;  a  wise,  pru- 
dent, honest  man,  well  to  do  and  in  good  esteem  among 
his  country  folk ;  moreover,  a  firm  supporter  of  the  liber- 
ties of  his  country  and  of  its  adhesion  to  the  holy  Eoman 
Empire,  on  which  account  Beringer  von  Landenberg,  the 


Governor  over  the  whole  of  Unterwald,  was  his  enemy. 
This  countryman  had  some  very  fine  oxen,  and  on  account 
of  some  trifling  oflFense  committed  by  his^on  Arnold,  the 
Governor  sent  his  servant  to  seize  the  finest  pair  by  way 
of  punishment,  and  if  the  old  Henry  made  any  objection 
to  being  thus  robbed,  the  servant  was  to  tell  him  it 
was  the  Governor's  opinion  the  peasants  should  draw  the 
plow  themselves.  The  servant  carried  out  his  master's 
commands.  But  as  he  unyoked  the  oxen  the  countryman's 
son  Arnold  fell  into  a  rage,  and,  striking  the  servant's  hand 
with  a  stick,  broke  one  of  his  fingers.  At  this  the  son 
fled  to  the  forest,  where  he  concealed  himself  for  a  long  time. 
The  servant  complaining  to  the  Governor,  old  Henry  was 
seized  and  his  eyes  torn  out.  His  son,  hearing  of  his 
father's  wrongs,  laid  the  matter  secretly  before  the  trusty 
people  of  Uri,  who  with  him  awaited  an  opportunity  to 
avenge  old  Henry's  misfortune." 

.  Gessler,  the  Governor  of  Schwyz  and  Uri,  treated  the 
peasantry  and  citizens  with  equal  cruelty.  He  erected  a 
strong  fortress  for  refuge  in  time  of  danger,  and  also  as  a 
means  to  keep  the  people  in  greater  awe  and  submission. 
On  being  asked  the  name  of  the  fortress,  h^  replied, 
"  TJri's  prison."  This  greatly  offended  these  law-abiding 
shepherds  and  peasants.  The  Governor,  perceiving  the 
anger  of  the  people,  wickedly  determined  to  humiliate 
them  still  further.  On  St.  John's  day  he  caused  a  pole  to 
be  erected  in  the  market  place  and  a  hat  to  be  placed  on 
the  top.  Every  man  who  passed  was  commanded,  on  pain 
of  confiscation  of  his  property  and  corporeal  punishment,  to 
bow  the  head  and  bend  the  knee,  as  if  to  the  King  him- 
self. Placing  a  guard  at  the  base  of  the  pole  to  report 
those  who  refused  obedience,  the  day  found  no  rebels. 


Oir  the  following  Sunday  morning,  however,  an  honest 
peasant  of  Uri,  William  Tell  by  name^passed  several  times 
hefore  the  hat  u])on  the  pole  witlvout  paying  it  due  homage. 
This  was  told  to  the  Governor,  Gessler,  who  on  the  fol- 
lowing morning  summoned  Tell  to  his  presence.  It  would 
seem  that  Tell's  insolence  had  been  agreed  upon,  in 
order  to  bring  about  a  collision  between  the  people  and 
their  tvrannical  Governor.  The  immediate  cause  of  this 
resolution  was  that  one  day  Gessler  was  riding  through 
the  country,  when  coming  to  a  handsome  house,  and  see- 
ing the  owner,  Wernherr  von  StiiuflFach,  standing  before 
the  door,  who  welcomed  him  in  a  friendly  way,  the  Gov- 
ernor inquired,  "  to  whom  the  house  belonged  ? "  Von 
Stauffach  suspecting  the  question  boded  no  good,  cau- 
tiously replied,  "  My  lord,  the  house  belongs  to  my  sover- 
eign lord,  the  King,  and  is  your  and  my  fief."  At  which 
the  Governor  rephed, "  I  will  not  allow  peasants  to  build 
houses  without  my  consent,  or  to  live  in  freedom,  as  if 
they  were  their  own  masters.  I  will  teach  you  to  resist 
me,"  and  rode  away. 

These  threats  greatly  disturbed  the  wise  and  thrifty 
Von  Stauffach,  and,  entering  his  house,  he  told  his  wife. 
With  a  woman's  wit  she  saw  an  escape  from  this  no- 
longer-to-be-suffered  bondage.  Said  she :  "  The  people  are 
complaining  of  this  Governor's  tyranny,  and  if  some  of  you 
who  can  trust  each  other  can  meet,  you  may  take  counsel 
together  how  you  may  throw  off  this  wanton  power." 

Her  husband  hurried  away  to  Uri,  and  finding  Walter 
Furst,  who  mentioning  Arnold,  the  son  of  blind  Henry, 
he  was  called  in,  and  these  three  agreed  to  call  all  the 
trustworthy  people  about  them  together,  to  take  measures 
for  regaining  liieir  ancient  liberties  and  expelling  the 
despised  Governor 


In  the  Butli,  a  lonely  valley  between  high  mountains, 
near  the  lake  of  the  four  cantons,  thirty-three  patriots 
met,  and  swore  to  make  Switzerland  free.  It  is  supposed 
Tell  was  of  this  number. 

When  Tell  therefore  arrived  at  the  summons  of  Gess- 
ler  the  Governor  haughtily  asked  him  "why  he  had  not 
bowed  his  head  and  bent  his  knees  to  the  pole  with  the 
hat  on  it?"  Tell  replied,  "My  dear  lord,  it  happened 
unknowingly,  and  not  out  of  contempt ;  pardon  me ;  if  I 
were  clever,  I  should  not  be  called  Tell.  I  beg  for  mercy ; 
it  shall  not  happen  again."  Tell  was  a  good  marksman, 
and  had  not  his  equal  in  the  whole  country ;  he  had,  also, 
beautiful  children,  of  whom  he  was  very  fond.  The 
Governor  sent  for  them,  and  said :  "  Tell,  which  of  your 
children  do  you  love  the  best  ? "  Tell  answered,  "  My 
lord,  they  are  all  alike  dear  to  me."  Upon  this  the  Gov- 
ernor said:  "Well,  Tell,  you  are  a  good  and  true  marks- 
man, as  I  hear,  and  you  shall  prove  your  skill  in  my  pres- 
ence by  shooting  an  apple  from  off  the  head  of  one  of 
your  children;  but  take  care  that  you  strike  the  apple,  for 
should  the  first  shot  miss,  it  shall  cost  you  your  life." 
Tell,  filled  with  horror,  begged  the  Governor  on  bended 
knees  to  dispense  with  the  trial.  "  He  would  sooner  die 
than  shoot  at  his  own  child,  etc.,  etc."  Tschudi  goes  on 
to  tell  how  the  trial  was  made,  and  Tell  was  successful; 
how  he  had  concealed  an  arrow  for  the  barbarous  Gov- 
ernor in  the  breast  of  his  shirt  in  case  he  had  shot  his 
child,  for  which  design  Gessler  swore  he  would  take  Tell 
to  a  place  where  he  would  never  more  behold  sun  or  moon. 
Binding  him,  the  servants  took  Tell  to  a  boat  to  cross  to 
Brunnen,  when  he  was  to  be  taken  across  the  country  to  a 
castle  to  pass  the  rest  of  his  life  in  a  dungeon.    While 


they  were  upon  the  lake  a  terrible  storm  arose,  whereat 
Gessler  and  the  servants  became  much  frightened.  Said 
the  boatman :  '^  My  lord,  Tell  is  a  strong  man,  and  can 
manage  a  boat  well;  let  us  make  use  of  him."  The 
Governor,  who  was  in  mortal  dread  of  drowning,  said :  "  If 
you  bring  us  out  of  this  danger  I  will  release  you  from 
your  bonds  " ;  to  which  Tell  replied, "  I  trust,  with  God's  aid, 
to  bring  you  safely  out  of  peril."  Thereupon,  Tell  was 
unbound,  and,  standing  at  the  helm,  guided  the  boat  care- 
fully through  the  waves ;  but,  watching  his  opportunity, 
as  he  approached  a  great  rock  he  seized  his  cross-bow 
lying  in  the  bottom  of  the  boat,  jumped  out  upon  the 
rock,  and,  with  a  tremendous  push  sent  the  tossing  craft 
back  upon  the  billowy  lake.  Running  to  a  secret  retreat, 
he  there  lay  in  wait  for  the  Governor  and  his  servants. 
After  some  delay  they  came  along  the  hollow  way,  and 
Tell,  springing  from  his  ambush,  drew  his  cross-bow  and 
shot  the  Hapsburg  Governor  through  the  heart.  A 
chapel  stands  upon  the  spot,  as  well  as  upon  the  rock  in 
the  lake  to  commemorate  the  event.  Tschudi  further 
says  that  the  first  Swiss  Confederation  was  formed  a  year 
after  this  event ,  to  be  in  force  ten  years,  with  the  reser- 
vation of  their  allegiance  to  the  Emperor  and  Empire. 

"  There  has  been  a  disposition  to  consider  William  Tell 
a  myth,"  says  Menzel,  "  but  in  1388  a.  d.,  in  the  provincial 
assembly  at  Uri,  a  hundred  and  fourteen  people  present 
declared  they  had  known  Tell  personally,  and  that  he  was 
drowned  at  Burglen  during  a  flood,  while  attempting  to 
save  the  lives  of  several  persons." 

Upon  the  death  of  Albert,  although  the  crown  of  Ger- 
many was  claimed  by  Philip  of  France  for  his  brother 
Charles,  the  dukes  and  princes,  fearing  French  domination 


in  Germany,  refused  to  elect  him,  but  chose  a  small  count, 
Henry  of  Luxemburg.  He  was  a  celebrated  knight  m 
the  tournaments.  He  was  crowned  a.  d.  1308,  as  Henry 
VII.,  though  both  the  iron  crown  of  Lombardy  and  the 
imperial  crown  of  Germany  were  stiU  in  Italy. 

Historians  say  he  proved  to  be  one  of  the  noblest 
Emperors  who  ever  sat  upon  the  throne  of  Germany. 

"  Deeply  conscious  of  the  duties  imposed  upon  him  by 
his  station,  he  followed  in  the  steps  of  Charlemagne  and 
Barbarossa,  remaining  a  stranger  to  the  petty  policy  of  his 
late  predecessors,  who  sacrificed  the  State  for  the  sake  of 
increasing  the  wealth  and  influence  of  their  own  houses. 
Repelling  the  assumptions  of  France,  and  repairing  the 
losses  sustained  by  the  Empire  since  the  fall  of  the  Hohen- 
staufens,  he  kept  aloof  from  the  broils  engaged  in  by  his 
jealous  princelings  at  home.  The  Italians  had  become 
weary  of  French  rule,  and  the  time  seemed  propitious  for 
again  uniting  Italy  to  the  German  Empire,  but  he  was  not 
supported  by  the  aristocracy  of  his  realm.  Said  the 
Emperor  sadly :  *  Enemies  multiply  abroad,  when  those 
before  whom  they  were  wont  to  tremble  are  engaged  in 
dissensions  at  home,  and  the  bitter  feuds  between  the  dif- 
ferent races  in  Germany,  will,  ere  many  years  elapse, 
become  deeply  and  ineradicably  rooted.' " 

It  is  said  Henry  VII.  was  poisoned  by  a  monk  while 
receiving  the  holy  sacrament,  August  24,  a.  d.  1313.  He 
was  upon  the  point  of  being  married  to  Catherine  von 
Ilapsburg,  who  awaited  him  at  Pisa,  and,  instead  of  her 
royal  bridegroom,  was  met  by  his  corpse. 

The  oligarchical  electors  now  became  divided,  each  sup- 
porting an  aspirant  for  the  empty  throne.  The  Guelphs 
and  Ghibellines,  old  enemies  for  centuries,  marshalled 


their  separate  electors,  and  the  contest  resulted  in  placing 
two  kings  over  the  people  —  Fre(ierick  III.,  a  Hapsburger, 
and  Louis  of  Bavaria,  a  Luxemburger,  both  grandsons  of 
Kudolph  I.  The  young  men  were  friends,  their  childhood 
having  been  passed  together.  Separated  by  political 
events,  and*plac«d  at  the  head  of  their  respective  factions, 
they  were  forced  to  outwardly  appear  enemies.  Privately, 
however,  they  bore  each  other  no  ill-will.  After  a  hotly- 
contested  battle  they  were  said  to  have  slept  together  as 
two  cousins.  Frederick  having  been  taken  prisoner  during 
the  battle  at  Ampfing,  a.  d.  1322,  instead  of  allowing  him 
to  be  executed,  the  King  offered  to  divide  the  honors  and 
powers  of  the  imperial  crown  with  him  at  his  release.  The 
Pope  and  electors  protested  against  this  arrangement.  It 
was  finally  settled  that  Louis  should  bear  the  imperial  title 
alone,  but  Frederick,  as  German  King,  should  share  the 
administration  in  Germany.  Frederick  dying  in  1330, 
Louis  became  sole  ruler.  It  is  said  that  during  the  four 
years  of  Frederick's  imprisonment  in  the  castle  Trausnitz, 
his  blonde  hair  turned  gray,  and  his  wife,  the  daughter  of 
the  King  of  Aragon,  wept  herself  blind.  He  was  called 
Frederick  the  Fair. 

The  authority  of  the  Papal  power  having  declined 
since  the  faU  of  the  Hohenstaufens,  as  the  power  of  the 
electors  had  increased,  and  still  more  after  the  removal 
of  the  Papal  seat  from  Bome  to  Avignon,  where,  it 
was  claimed,  the  French  prelates  used  its  influence  for 
political  puri)oses  and  to  the  detriment  of  German  prog: 
ress,  the  Emperor  offended  Pope  John  XXII.  by 
pushing  the  Guelphs  to  the  wall  whenever  the  opportu- 
nity  offered.  The  Pope  having  summoned  Louis  to 
appear  before  him^  to  which  the  Diet  objecting,  Louis, 


supported  by  the  electors,  declared  the  Pope  a  heretic, 
and,  starting  for  Italy,  deposed  him,  and  placed  Nicholas 
V.  in  the  pontiff's  chair.  It  is  claimed  that  the  crumbling 
clerical  hierarchy  would  have  fallen  at  that  time  but 
for  the  half-hearted  course  of  Louis.  Allowing  himself 
to  be  intimidated  by  the  Avignon  power,  the  princes 
finally  took  up  the  gauntlet,  and  in  a^  convocation  at 
Eense,  1338,  formed  an  electoral  league  and  promulgated 
the  declaration,  "that  every  legally  elected  Emperor 
of  Germany  had  received  his  power  from  God,  and  was 
entitled  to  all  its  rights  and  prerogatives,  without  previous 
or  present  recognition  from  the  Catholic  Popes."  Yet, 
notwithstanding  this  bold  declaration,  Louis  had  not  the 
strength  of  character  to  carry  it  out.  By  his  deposition 
of  Pope  John  XXII.  the  Italians  were  disaffected,  and 
the  King  was  forced  to  retire  fi'om  Italy.  This  setback 
affected  the  future  coui'se  of  Louis. 

In  1347,  after  strengthening  his  power  at  home  by  the 
addition  of  Holland,  Zealand  and  Friesland,  he  thought 
himself  strong  enough  to  undertake  another  expedition 
into  the  Papal  dominions,  but  during  the  excitement  of 
the  chase,  near  Munich,  he  died  from  apoplexy  or,  as 
some  say,  from  poison. 

The  discord  that  prevailed  between  the  electors, 
princes  and  the  Emperor,  encouraged  the  Swiss  to  attempt 
re  confederation.  At  the  pass  of  Morgarten,  a.  d.  1315, 
an  encounter  took  place  between  the  German  forces  under 
Leopold,  and  the  Swiss  peasants  on  foot,  who  successfully 
resisted  the  German  "  harnessed  knights  "  with  halberds, 
clubs  and  huge  stones  rolled  from  the  mountain  sides, 
when  they  retreated  with  heavy  loss.  This  encounter  fur- 
nishes the  Swiss  of  to-day  with  material  for  many  a  patri- 


otic,  poetic  and  self-laudatory  song  or  speech  at  their 
gatherings  at  home  and  abroad. 

A  league  still  existing  to  further  confederation, 
another  battle  was  fought  in  1339,  at  Laupen,  against  the 
neighboring  German  nobles  and  won  by  the  Swiss.  Eight 
ancient  cities  and  places  now  formed  a  confederation, 
Luzerne,  Zurich,  Glarus,  Seckingen,  Zug,  and  later  Berne 
was  added  to  the  number. 

It  was  during  the  ten  years  of  Louis'  reign,  from  1337 
to  1347,  that  those  fearful  natural  visitations  fell  upon 
Europe.  Comets,  swarms  of  locusts,  earthquakes  in 
Cyprus,  Greece  and  Italy,  followed  each  other  in  quick 
succession.  In  Carinthia  thirty  villages  were  reduced  to 
mere  heaps  of  ruin  by  earthquakes,  a  dreadful  pestilence 
called  the  "  black  death"  soon  after  following.  It  has 
been  estimated  that  a  million  of  people  perished  during 
this  pitiless  scourge.  About  this  time  the  Univereity  of 
Heidelberg  was  founded.  Louis  was  the  last  Emperor 
excommunicated  by  the  Popes.  His  death  was  the  signal  nJv^ 
for  the  beginning  of  active  operations  by  the  Franco- 
Roman  party  to  have  a  German  Emperor  of  their  Church 
views  elected.  They  succeeded  in  placing  the  Margrave 
of  Moravia  upon  the  German  throne. 

Charles  IV.  was  his  title,  and  he  was  expected  to  serve 
the  French  against  England,  "  though,"  says  the  historian, 
"  he  was  too  prudent  a  politician  and  too  sensible  of  his 
dignity  to  allow  himself  to  be  long  enchained  to  the  petty 
interest  of  a  French  king."  It  was  at  the  battle  of 
Crecy,  in  which  the  French  were  so  signally  defeated  by 
the  English,  that  the  English  King,  upon  hearing  of  the 
part  taken  by  the  Germans  in  the  battle,  exclaimed :  <^  O 
ye  Germans  1  how  could  ye  die  for  a  French  king  ? " 




The  sword  of  the  blind  Bohemian  King  bore  the  in- 
scription Ich  Dien  at  this  battle — "  that  is,"  says  Menzel, 
"  God,  the  ladies,  and  right " — and  was  assumed  at  the  time 
by  the  English  Prince  of  Wales  as  his  motto,  and  still 
remains  such.  Charles  reigned  from  a.  d.  1347  to  1378. 
The  only  remarkable  act  of  his  reign  was  the  promulga- 
tion of  the  document  called  the  "golden  bull,"  which 
gave  to  the  seven  electorate  princes  of  Mayence,  Treves, 
Cologne,  Bohemia,  Palatinate,  Saxony  and  Brandenburg 
the  exclusive  privilege  of  electing  the  Emperor  of  Ger- 
many. This  "golden  bull"  remained  in  force  until  the 
peace  of  Westphalia,  1648,  and  almost  entirely  prevented 
contests  over  elections. 

Wenzel,  the  son  of  Charles  IV.,  was  elected  as  his  suc- 
cessor. Germany  was  passing  through  internal  changes  of 
thought  requiring  a  strong  hand  at  the  helm.  A  fierce 
war  raged  between  the  powerful  aristocracy  and  the  in- 
habitants of  the  cities.  The  latter  formed  leagues  called 
Jyimda.  The  Rhenish  Bund  and  the  Swabian  Bund  took 
nearly  the  same  position  as  the  Swiss  Confederation  had 
taken,  and  threatened  to  become  as  powerful.  But  while 
the  Swiss  secured  their  lasting  independence  at  the  battle 
of  Sempach,  a.  d.  1385,  the  Swabian  Bund  was  completely 
routed  in  1388  a.  d.  at  the  battle  of  Doffingen — called 
**the  war  of  the  cities."  Wenzel  established  judicial  dis- 
tricts, called  circles,  to  secure  the  public  peace.  Wenzel 
was  too  young,  and  the  Germans  called  him  "  a  fool." 
Having  attempted  to  interfere  in  the  settlement  of  some 
clerical  difficulty  he  excited  the  ire  of  some  of  the  elect- 
ors, who  very  unceremoniously  deposed  him  and  placed 
Rupert,  elector  of  the  Palatinate,  upon  the  throne. 
Haxdly  had  Rupert  been  crowned  before  he  declared  war 


against  France,  and,  to  win  favor  of  the  cities,  abolished 
the  costoms  or  tariffs  of  the  Bhine.  This  act  turned  the 
nobility  against  him.  Wenzel  continually  waged  war 
against  Bupert  to  regain  his  rights.  Bupert  died  in  1410 
and  was  succeeded  by  Sigismond  of  Hungary.  This  king's 
reign,  which  lasted  twenty-seven  years,  forms  one  of  the 
saddest  and  most  discreditable  pages  in  German  history. 
The  disorganization  of  the  Christian  Church,  through  its 
persistent  assumption  and  efforts  to  retain  political  power, 
and  consequently  its  neglect  of  the  real  spiritual  needs  of 
the  people,  had  reached  a  state  appalling  to  its  real 

From  Sigismond's  coronation  dates  the  period  termed 
by  historians  "  the  Period  of  the  Kef  ormation."  He  was 
far  from  being  the  Emperor  of  his  times.  But  it  is  claimed 
for  him  that  if  he  had  not  the  energy  and  power  to  cor- 
rect and  improve  the  tendency  of  the  period,  he  was  intel- 
ligent enough  to  see  the  evils  and  to  suggest  a  cure.  But 
he  was  not  listened  to.  He  was  a  great  spendthrift,  and, 
consequently,  was  always  in  need  of  money.  To  provide 
for  his  necessities,  and  to  have  the  means  of  paying  his 
expenses  to  Spain — ^undertaken  for  the  purpose  of  persuad- 
ing one  of  the  Popes  to  abdicate — he  sold  his  whole  estate 
and  electorship  of  Brandenburg,  in  1415,  to  Frederick  of 
ZoUem,  for  300,000  ducats.  The  purchaser  was  an  ances- 
tor of  the  present  Emperor  of  Germany,  and  from  this 
period  the  HohenzoUerns  became  a  political  power  in 
Prussia.  Two  events  which  transpired  during  the  reign  of 
Sigismond  have  served  to  tarnish  his  name  throughout  the 
ages,  and  whatever  good  he  accomplished  was  outweighed 
and  lost  sight  of  in  the  bigoted  and  barbarous  execution, 
A.  D.  1415-'16  of  the  two  worthy  and  learned  men,  John 
Huss  and  Hieronymus  of  Prague. 


Many  demands  for  a  refomiation  of  the  Church  prac- 
tices had  come  from  Northwestern  and  Western  Europe. 
The  most  powerful  impulse  to  the  movement,  as  in  the 
early  days  of  Winf ried,  had  come  from  England.  John 
Wickliflfe,  a  professor  of  theology  at  the  University  of 
Oxford,  had  by  his  writings  caused  intense  interest  in 
Germany  and  Bohemia.  Two  professors  at  the  Univer- 
sity of  Prague,  John  Huss  and  Hieronymus,  became 
enthusiastic  advocates  of  his  teachings,  and  were  active  in 
their  propagation.  Their  course  roused  the  indignation 
of  the  ecclesiastical  party.  Huss  went  so  far  as  to  accuse 
the  clergy,  as  well  as  the  Popes — of  which,  at  this  time, 
there  were  no  less  than  three— of  gross  immoraUties.  Hav- 
ing refused  to  appear  before  Pope  John.  XXIII.  at  Eome, 
to  answer  to  the  charge  of  scandalizing  the  heads  of  the 
Church,  he  was  excommunicated  a.  d.  1413.  A  council 
was  called  at  Constance,  at  which  the  notable  princes 
and  nobles  of  Germany  and  the  most  powerful  Catholic 
prelates  from  all  parts  of  the  world  assembled,  ostensibly 
to  settle  the  legal  right  of  one  of  the  three  Popes  to  the 
pontifical  chair  in  Borne,  but  in  reality  to  determine  the 
rights  and  discipline  of  the  Church. 

As  Huss  did  not  recognize  the  authority  of  the  Pope, 
John  XXIII.,  he  was  cited  to  appear  before  the  Council, 
Sigismond  having  promised  him  safe  conduct.  On  the 
way  Huss  had  given  free  expression  to  his  doctrines,  and 
upon  his  arrival  had  preached  an  offensive  serijdon,  for 
which  he  was  immediately  imprisoned  in  a  narrow  dun- 
geon in  the  Concilium  building,  upon  the  Lake  of  Constance, 
near  which  the  sewers  of  the  town  emptied.  Other  mat- 
ters for  a  time  occupying  the  attention  of  the  Council,  and 
Huss  being  attacked  with  fever,  he  was  removed  to  the 


Castle  of  Gottlieben  by  command  of  the  Bishop  of  Con* 
stance,  and  chained  hand  and  foot  to  the  wall  of  his  dun- 
geon (these  chains  are  still  to  be  seen  at  Constance). 
Here  he  remained  for  nine  months^  or  while  the  Council 
settled  the  Papal  affairs  of  Germany  and  the  rest  of  the 
world,  after  which  he  was  called  before  it.  As  Huss 
entered  the  assembly  room,  it  is  affirmed,  a  solar  eclipse 
darkened  the  earth.  Addressing  the  Emperor  who  pre- 
sided, seated  upon  a  throne,  he  thanked  him  for  his  safe 
conduct,  upon  hearing  which  Sigismond's  face  turned 
scarlet  with  shame.  Huss  then  attempted  to  explain  his 
doctrine,  but  the  Council  would  not  listen  to  him.  The 
articles  of  accusation,  says  history,  were  then  read  to  Huss 
and  he  was  ordq^ed  to  recant. 

He  was  charged  with  having  maintained  the  existence 
of  four  gods,  at  which  Huss  smiled  unconsciously.  Other 
charges  were,  that  he  had  promulgated  doctrines  con- 
demned as  heretical  by  the  Church,  such  as  "  that  laymen 
as  well  as  priests  might  partake  of  the  Lord's  Supper ; 
that  a  priest  unworthy  of  his  office  could  not  dispense 
the  sacrament ;  that  the  Holy  Ghost  rested  upon  the 
whole  congregation ;  that  every  pious  laymen  was  fitt^, 
without  being  ordained,  to  act  as  spiritual  teacher  and 
guide ;  that  the  authority  of  the  Bishop  of  Eome  did  not 
extend  over  foreign  nations,  and  that,  lastly,  obedience 
was  as  little  due  to  a  wicked  prince  as  to  a  wicked  Pope." 

Bepeated  addresses  were  sent  from  Bohemia  to  the 
Council,  in  behalf  of  their  protege^  but  their  demands  were 
unheeded.  Deprived  of  his  priestly  office  by  the  Council, 
a  high  paper  cap,  upon  which  were  printed  three  devils 
with  the  inscription,  "The  Arch-Heretic,"  was  placed  upon 
Huss'  head.    Huss  made  no  objection,  simply  observing, 


"Christ  wore  a  crown  of  thorns."  A  procession  wa43 
formed  and  Hnss  was  taken  to  an  open  space  in  the  sub- 
urbs of  Constance.  Bound  to  the  stake,  and  seeing  a  peas- 
ant heaping  up  wood  near  him,  Huss  cried  out,  "  O  zeal- 
ous simplicity."  The  wood  being  kindled,  the  martyr's 
voice  was  heard  singing  hynms  until  the  flames  deprived 
him  of  his  courageous  breath.  It  is  claimed  that  he  pre- 
dicted Luther's  advent  by  saying,  "  To-day  you  will  roast 
a  goose  (meaning  himself),  but  a  hundred  yeai*s  hence  a 
swan  will  appear  that  you  will  not  be  able  to  destroy." 
Ilieronymus,  who  had  come  to  Constance  to  aid  his  friend, 
fled  in  despair,  but  was  captured,  thrown  into  prison,  and, 
through  hunger,  torture  and  sickness,  was  induced  to 
recant.  But  this  act  only  hastened  his  condenmation.  The 
following  year,  a.  d.  1416,  he  shared  the  fate  of  his 
co-worker  and  sufferer,  John  Huss. 

Jlistory  says,  that  owing  to  the  choice  of  the  church 
for  holding  the  Council,  Constance  was  ruined.  The  mur- 
ders of  these  two  men  lay  like  a  curse  upon  the  beautiful 
city,  which  never  flourished  after.  The  hopes  of  the  Cliris- 
tian  world  in  the  work  of  the  Council  were  thus  doomed  to 
disappointment.  True,  an  Italian  cardinal,  as  Martin  V., 
was  raised  to  the  Papacy,  putting  an  end  to  the  anomaly 
of  three  Popes  issuing  decrees  to  the  Church  at  the  same 
time,  but  a  religious  war  was  the  ultimate  result,  engen- 
dered between  the  adherents  of  Huss  and  theip  opponents, 
which  war  lasted  from  1419  to  1435.  The  Hussites  were 
led  by  John  Zizka,  who  had  been  Chamberlain  and  favorite 
of  the  Emperor  Wenzel ;  but  becoming  enraged  against 
the  priesthood,  he  took  up  the  cause  of  the  anti-Catholic 
party  against  the  King.  Their  insignia  was  a  cup,  which 
originated  from  the  casting  to  the  ground  by  a  cardinal- 


legate,  the  cup  lield  by  a  Huss  preacher  as  he  was  about 
to  celebrate  the  Lord's  Supper.  It  was  at  this  time  the 
churches  and  monasteries,  as  well  as  royal  palaces,  of  Ger- 
many and  Bohemia,  were  edifices  of  linequaled  splendor 
and  of  which  but  a  faint  idea  can  be  formed  at  the  present 
day.  Upon  the  garden  walls  of  the  royal  residence  at 
Prague,  destroyed  during  this  war,  was  written  the  whole 

After  the  death  of  Pope  Martin  V.,  his  successor  tried 
every  means  to  bring  the  war  to  a  terminus.  The  Maid  of 
Orleans,  who  had  helped  drive  the  English  out  of  France 
and  was  revered  as  a  saint,  was  induced  to  write  a  letter 
to  the  Hussites,  admonishing  them  of  the  crime  of  warring 
longer  against  the  holy  ordinances  of  the  Church.  To 
which  letter  they  replied :  "  You  well  know  what  sepa- 
rates us  from  you ;  you  preach  with  your  mouths,  we 
practice  it  in  our  acts." 

Sigisraond  died  a,  d.  1437,  and  was  succeeded  by  his 
son-in-law,  Albert  II.  Like  his  Hapsburg  predecessors  he 
was  a  faithful  adherent  to  the  policy  of  the  Church,  which 
policy  had  permitted  one  hundred  and  ten  heretics  to  be 
burnt  at  Vienna,  and  thirteen  hundred  Jews  for  having 
aided  the  Hussites.  Albert  died  two  years  after  his  coro- 

Frederick  III.  succeeded  him,  also  a  Hapsburger.  That 
he  was  a  slow  man  may  be  believed,  as  it  took  him  eleven 
weeks  to  decide  whether  he  would  take  the  crown  or  not. 
He,  having  decided  in  the  affirmative,  was  after  permitted 
to  reign  fifty-two  years. 

During  his  long  rule  and  almost  undisturbed  peace 
Germany  developed  her  internal  resources.  The  arts, 
industry  and  sbciety  improved ;  the  federative  system  was 


begun ;  that  is,  a  nnion  of  the  greater  and  lesser  estates 
of  the  Empire  was  brought  about  —  that  of  the  eccles- 
iastical orders  with  those  of  knighthood  and  of  the  citi- 
zens in  the  provincial  Diets ;  the  union  of  the  government 
of  the  electorates  and  duchies,  by  the  new  method  of 
judicature,  and,  lastly,  by  the  corporative  system  in  the 

Frederick's  Chancellor,  Casper  Schlick,  who  had  also 
served  in  the  same  capacity  with  Sigismond  and  Albert  II., 
was  a  doctor;  "a  man  who  reached  fame  far  beyond  his 
merit,"  says  Menzel ;  "  who  never  understood  the  spirit  of 
his  times,  nor  the  duty  of  the  crown,  but  solely  occupied 
himself  in  veihng  the  deficiencies  of  his  three  masters,  and 
deferring  by  plausible  negotiations  decisions  of  the  great 
questions  that  agitated  the  age.  Thus,  by  his  diplomacy 
were  the  people  deceived,  and  the  great  lesson  taught  by 
the  Hussite  war  of  no  benefit,  to  them."  Frederick  III. 
was  the  last  of  the  German  Emperors  who  were  crowned 
in  Eome.  While  this  Emperor  lived  an  uneventful  life,  a 
simple  subject  of  his,  a  German  mechanic,  studied  night 
and  day  to  perfect  an  invention  which  has  done  more 
towards  bringing  about  the  humane  age  in  which  we  live 
than  all  the  emperors,  kings,  popes,  presidents  or  digni- 
taries that  ever  dwelt  upon  the  earth.  His  name  was 
Johann  Gansfleisch  or,  as  he  took  his  mother's  name, 
Gutenburg  of  Mayence,  and  his  machine,  the  primitive 
printing  press,  was  given  to  the  world  a.  d.  1450.  In 
1493,  Maximilian,  the  son  of  Frederick  III.,  and  known 
as  the  "  Last  Knight,"  quietly  ascended  the  throne.  He 
was  .thirty-four  years  old,  and  a  man  of  great  acquire- 
ments for  the  age  in  which  he  lived.  Inheriting  the 
strength  of  his  Polish  ancestry  and  the  mental  qualities 




of  his  Portuguese  mother,  Eleonora,  he  was  chivalrio, 
modest,  gentle  and  amiable.  It  is  said  of  him  that  when 
he  went  to  the  Netherlands  to  marry  Mary  of  Burgundy, 
"he  appeared  at  Ghent,  mounted  on  a  brown  steed, 
clothed  in  silver-gilt  armor,  his  long  blonde  locks  crowned 
with  a  bridegroom's  wreath  resplendent  with  pearls  and 
precious  stones,  and  rode  into  the  city,  where  he  was  met 
by  his  prospective  bride.  The  youthful  pair,  upon  behold- 
ing each  other,  knelt  in  the  public  streets  and  sank  into 
each  other's  arms.  '  Welcome  art  thou  to  me,  thou  noble 
Grerman,'  said  the  young  Duchess,  ^  whom  I  have  so  long 
desired,  and  now  behold  with  delight.' "  They  were  mar- 
ried A.  D.  1478.  After  the  birth  of  her  two  children, 
Philip  and  Margaret,  afterwards  married  to  the  children 
of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  of  Spain,  the  patrons  of  Colum- 
bus, the  beautiful  bride,  while  hunting  was  thrown  from 
her  horse  and  fatally  injured.  She  died  in  the  bloom  of 
youth  A.  D.  1482. 

Maximilian  I.  reigned  twenty-seven  years.  This 
period  may  fitly  be  termed,  the  transition  period  from  the 
decline  of  feudalism  to  the  age  of  human  progress.  It  was 
eminently  a  revolutionary  period  in  the  minds  of  men. 
"  On  neither  side  was  contentment  to  be  found,"  says  the 
historian  Kohlbausch.  The  old  accepted  privileges  of  the 
Emperor  and  the  States  had  become  more  than  ever  unde- 
fined. The  princes  often  resorted  to  open  war  in  order  to 
extend  or  defend  their  territory  and  titles.  Whatever  the 
Emperor  had  intended  to  accomplish,  he  was  prevented 
from  doing  by  want  of  means.  The  greater  portion  of 
the  revenue  formerly  allowed  to  the  Crown  had  been 
appropriated  by  the  States.  Maximilian  finally  suc- 
ceeded in  inducing  them  to  demand  of  every  person  of 


the  Empire  one  penny  out  of  every  thousand  he  possessed, 
or  a  tenth  per  cent.,  towards  the  maintenance  of  the  Crown. 
This  tax  was  seldom  regularly  paid.  The  Emperor 
attempted  to  establish  a  post  to  facilitate  communication 
throughout  his  realm,  but  the  project  failed,  on  account  of 
want  of  means  and  the  state  of  the  roads.  The  federation 
of  every  class  made  representation  in  the  Diet  now  pos- 
sible. Tiie  dukes  no  longer  ruled  the  whole  assembly.  A 
distinct  court  of  justice  was  established,  but,  says  history, 
'*  however  excellent  ideas  he  possessed,  or  however  honest 
of  purpose  were  the  Emperor's  efforts,  all  was  alike  una- 
vailing against  the  torrent  of  opposing  interest." 

Says  Menzel:  "Maximilian  I.  intended  well.  He  fer- 
vently desired  to  march  against  the  Turks;  to  reannex 
Italy  to  the  German  Empire,  to  chastise  France,  but  he 
was  a  prisoner  in  the  midst  of  the  weapons  of  Germany 
and  a  beggar  in  the  midst  of  her  wealth." 

He  wrote  a  book  of  anecdotes,  receipts,  etc.,  and  left 
a  biography,  the  life  of  an  adventurous  Knight  rather  than 
that  of  an  Emperor. 

Before  the  close  of  his  reign,  the  troubles  of  the  Refor- 
mation began.  The  seed  planted  by  Wycliffe  in  England, 
by  Huss  and  Hieronymus  in  Germany,  had  sprung  up 
and  borne  plentiful  fruit.  Respect  for  the  ecclesiastical 
hierarchy  had  nearly  vanished.  The  old  German  univer- 
sities had  been  the  bitterest  enemies  of  Huss,  and  a  new 
school  had  been  founded  by  his  followers,  independent  of 
the  universities,  at  Deventer.  These  students  under  the 
name  of  the  "Brethren  of  Common  Life,"  were 
allowed  to  study  the  dead  languages,  and  finally  came  to 
be  known  as  the  "  Humanists."  The  study  of  Hebrew,  how- 
ever, excited  the  suspicion  of  the  Papal  powers,  and  one 


of  its  advocates,  who  insisted  the  Bible  should  be  read  in 
the  Hebrew  language,  was  imprisoned  for  life.  Pope  Leo 
X.,  who  was  a  pure  man,  who  became  cardinal  at  the 
age  of  thirteen  and  Pope  at  thirty-seven,  was  a  patron  of 
art.  He  was  blamed,  however,  for  draining  Germany  of 
most  of  its  revenue  to  build  the  gigantic  church  of  St. 
Peter's.  After  the  crusades,  instead  of  going  to  Jerusalem, 
pilgrimages  wore  made  to  Eome,  and  whoever  laid  an 
offering  on  St.  Peter's  shrine  was  to  receive  remission  for 
his  sins.  These  oflferings  were  to  be  sent  every  Jubilee, 
and  were  found  to  be  so  productive  they  came  to  be 
held  every  twenty-five  years.  Millions  were  poured  into 
the  Papal  treasury.  As  all  could  not  go  to  Eome,  the 
means  of  purchasing  absolution  was  offered  by  a  paper 
currency,  with  the  price  of  every  sin  fixed,  and  this  cur- 
rency was  offered  for  sale  throughout  Christendom.  This 
indulgence  was  termed  "  The  Roman  Pardon."  The  wor- 
ship of  the  Virgin  Mary  had  become  almost  as  important  as 
that  of  God  or  the  Savior  at  this  time. 

The  Emperors,  suffering  for  money,  became  restive  at 
the  immense  sums  raised  by  the  sale  of  indulgences,  and 
in  1500  A.  D.  it  was  declared,  in  an  imperial  decree,  that 
two-thirds  of  this  amount  should  be  retained  for  the 
defense  of  the  government  against  feared  attacks  from 
the  Turks.  Nothing  came  of  it  however.  About  this  time 
two  men  of  great  learning,  Erasmus  and  Melancthon,  the 
latter  a  zealous  "  Humanist,"  appeared  as  preachers  advo- 
cating a  reformation  in  the  Church ;  but  although  it 
came  to  be  an  age  of  learning,  the  common  people  were 
far  removed  from  its  influence,  and  the  scholars,  liberal- 
minded  as  they  were,  had  not  the  power  or  wanted  the 
courage  to  teach  them  openly  and  freely.    In  all  ages 


men  have  arisen  however,  ready  and  fitted  for  tne  per- 
formaiice  of  the  duty  demanded  of  them.  This  man  of 
courage  and  ability  was  Martin  Luther,  the  son  of  a  poor 
miner  of  Saxony  (those  Saxons  were  a  wonderful  people, 
always  found  opposing  tyranny  of  every  sort).  He  became 
a  monk  and  a  professor  of  theology  at  the  new  Human- 
ist University  at  Wittenberg  in  1512.  His  first  public 
action  w^as  inspired  at  the  shameless  conduct  of  a  retailer 
of  indulgences  in  Saxony.  He  published  his  work,  "Ger- 
man Theology,"  in  1516,  a  work,  says  the  historian,  written 
in  the  simple  severe  style  of  the  best  mystics;  he  attacked 
the  follies  and  depravity  of  the  age,  not  with  satire  and 
irony  (the  weapons  used  by  former  preachers),  but  with 
the  earnest  gravity  of  a  monk,  a  stranger  to  the  world. 
In  1517,  he  brought  out  in  the  church  of  Wittenberg, 
ninety-five  arguments  against  indulgences,  the  principal  of 
which  were :  that,  by  sincere  repentance  and  penance  alone, 
not  by  the  payment  of  money,  could  sins  be  remitted ;  that 
the  Pope,  being  merely  the  vicegerent  of  God  upon  earth, 
could  only  remit  the  external  penances  ordained  by  the 
Church  on  earth,  not  the  eternal  punishment  awarded  to 
the  sinner  after  death. 

This  utterance  would  have  fallen  dead  upon  the  Chris- 
tian world  at  large  but  for  Gutenberg's  printing  press. 
Europe  was  inundated  with  copies  of  these  Lutheran 
declarations  in  less  than  a  month. 

Maximilian's  son  Philip  dying  in  1606,  after  his  own 
death,  Frederick  of  Saxony  was  proclaimed  regent  until 
Philip's  son,  Charles  V.,  should  become  of  age.  This 
Emperor's  boast  was  "  that  the  sun  never  set  on  his  domin- 
ions." His  possessions  were  Germany,  the  whole  of  Spain, 
Naples  and  the  late  Spanish  conquests  in  America. 


Cliarles  left  Spain  for  Germany  a.  d.  1521.  The 
princes  and  representatives  of  all  the  estates  of  the 
Empire  flocked  to  Worms  to  receive  the  new  Emperor. 
A  Diet  was  convoked,  ostensibly  to  regulate  the  affairs  of 
the  Empire,  but  in  reaUty  to  decide  the  Lutheran  contro- 

The  German  princes  were  pleased  with  the  courtly 
bearing  of  their  Spanish-born  Hapsburger,  and  seeing  the 
necessity  of  maintaining  peace  and  the  unity  of  the  estates 
against  the  designs  of  Francis  I.  of  France,  appeared 
indifferent  to  Luther's  schism,    and  Luther  was  curtly 
ordered  to  appear  before  the  Diet  and  retract  his  heresies. 
On  his  arrival  two  thousand  people  escorted  him  to  his 
lodgings.      His  demeanor,  as  he  confronted  this  imposing 
assembly,  was  that  of  a  man  secure  in  his  position.     In 
vindication  of  his  offense,  he  spoke  at  length  in  German, 
which  the  Emperor  requested  him  to  repeat  in  Latin. 
He  declared    he  could    not  recant   in    such    emphatic 
language,  that  four  hundred  of  the  German  nobility  were 
ready  to  defend  him  at  all  hazards.    Luther  was  put  under , 
the  ban ;  that  is,  he  was  divested  of  the  right  to  preach,  ) 
and  the  people  were  forbidden  all  intercourse  with  him,  j 
or  to  perform  any  office  of  humanity  for  his  support  ojj 
comfort.    It  is  said  the  young  Emperor  bitterly  lamented 
after,  that  he  had  not  made  a  similar  end  of  Luther  that 
had  been  made  of  Huss  and  Hieronymus. 

On  his  way  home  from  Wonns  Luther  was  seized,  pre- 
sumably by  his  consent,  and  carried  to  "Wartburg  castle, 
where,  confined  by  his  friend  and  patron,  Frederick  of 
Saxony,  he  translated  the  Bible  into  German.  While  he 
was  lost  to  the  world,  Melancthon,  Von  Hutton,  Erasmus 
and  Zwingle  carried  on  his  work.    England's  king,  Heniy 


VIII.,  carried  Luther's  doctrine  to  its  legitimate  end  by 
throwing  oflP  the  Papal  yoke.  Charles  V.  in  1521  raised 
his  old  tutor,  Adrian  of  Utrecht,  to  the  pontifical  throne. 
This  excellent  old  man  projected  a  comprehensive  reform, 
but,  before  his  work  was  accomplished,  he  expired.  His 
successor,  Clement  VII.,  said :  "  The  separation  of  the 
North  was  far  less  perilous  than  a  general  reformation  ; 
that  it  was  much  better  to  lose  a  part  than  a  whole." 
No  sooner,  however,  had  the  reformers  made  decided 
progress  in  their  crusade  against  the  mother  Church,  than 
they  began  to  wrangle  among  themselves.  Some  enthusi- 
asts went  so  far  as  to  declare  that  most  of  the  doctrines 
held  by  the  Church  were  mere  delusions,  calculated  to  dwarf 
the  intellect  and  keep  the  people  in  a  state  of  perpetual 
serfdom.  Luther  remained  conservative,  and  it  was  said 
of  him  by  the  more  progressive  reformers,  "  that,  though  he 
had  led  the  people  through  the  Red  Sea,  he  had  deserted 
them  in  the  wilderness." 

While  the  teachings  of  Luther  were  expected  to  have  a 
far-reaching  and  beneficent  influence  upon  the  mass  of 
mankind,  in  allowing  more  freedom  of  religious  thought, 
their  immediate  effect  upon  the  ignorant  and  down-trod- 
den peasantry  was  to  rekindle  the  hope  for  greater  polit- 
ical freedom.  This  sentiment  was  seized  upon  by  fanat- 
ical preachers — adventurous  knights — who  at  the  prospect 
of  a  war  added  every  species  of  fuel  to  the  already  smold- 
ering fire. 

The  peasantry  revolted,  and,  joined  by  several  cities 
under  the  leadership  of  Thomas  Munzer  and  others,  pre- 
sented their  grievances  to  Archduke  Ferdinand,  the  brother 
of  Charles  V.,  who  had  been  made  ruler  over  Germany 
during  the    Emperors  absence  in  Spain.    The  twelve 


demands  made  by  the  peasantry  are  good  evidence  of 
their  acquaintance  with  the  fundamental  rights  of  man  as 
expounded  at  a  later  period,  to-wit : 

*'The  right  of  the  peasantry  to  appoint  their  own 
preachers,  who  were  to  be  allowed  to  preach  the  word  of 
God  from  the  Bible ;  that  the  dues  paid  by  the  peasantry 
were  to  be  abolished  with  the  exception  of  tithes  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  clergy,  the  surplus  to  be  applied  to 
alleviating  the  sufferings  of  the  poor ;  the  abolition  of 
vassalage  as  iniquitous  ;  the  right  of  hunting,  fishing  and 
fowling;  that  of  cutting  wood  in  the  forests;  the  modi- 
fication of  socage  and  average  service ;  that  the  servant 
be  guaranteed  protection  from  the  caprice  of  his  lord; 
the  modification  of  the  rent  upon  feudal  lands,  by  which 
a  part  of  the  profit  would  be  secured  to  the  occupant ;  the 
administration  of  justice,  according  to  the  ancient  laws, 
not  according  to  the  new  statutes  and  to  caprice;  the 
restoration  of  communal  property  illegally  seized ;  the 
abolition  of  taxes  on  the  death  of  the  serf,  by  which  the 
widows  and  orphans  were  deprived  of  their  right,  and  the 
acceptance  of  theaforesai4  articles,  or  their  refutation,  as 
contrary  to  the  Scriptures." 

They  wished  Luther  to  become  one  of  the  arbitrators ; 
but  he  refused,  some  say,  because  the  peasants  had  become 
Anabaptists.  They  accused  him  "of  having  deserted  the 
cause  of  liberty  and  of  rendering  the  Reformation  a  fresh 
advantage  for  the  Princes,  or  a  new  means  of  tyranny." 
Numbers  of  the  nobility  were  forced  bodily  to  join  the 
peasants'  rebellion.  Many  scenes  of  bloodshed  followed ; 
barbarous  executions  and  terrible  hardships  fill  many 
pages  of  the  history  of  this  contest 

As  might  have  been  expected,  led  by  fanatics  and  free- 


hooter  knights,  such  as  Goetz  von  Berlichingen,  Metzler  and 
Jeyer,  the  revolting  peasants  were  subdued,  after  which 
fearful  reprisals  were  taken  by  their  conquerors.  John  of 
Ley  den  and  two  others,  after  being  publicly  exhibited  in 
several  German  cities,  as  a  spectacle,  were  tortured  with 
burning  pincers,  and  put  to  death  by  piercing  their  hearts 
with  a  red-hot  dagger.  Their  bodies  were  placed  in  iron 
cages  and  hung  from  the  steeple  of  a  church  in  Miinster. 
The  state  of  the  survivors  was  now  more  melancholy  than 
before,  as  Charles  V.  and  his  brother  were  looking  more 
towards  the  extension  of  the  Hapsburg  possessions  than 
to  the  internal  affairs  of  Germany.  Bohemia  and  Hun- 
gary having  been  added  to  the  Empire  by  the  marriage  of 
Ferdinand  with  the  sister  of  Louis  of  Bohemia,  Francis 
I.  of  France  now  claimed  the  attention  of  the  Emperor, 
which  absence  rather  aided  the  Reformation  in  Germany 
than  otherwise. 

In  1543  Charles  set  out  for  Italy,  where  he  brought  the 
whole  country  under  subjection  through  the  valor  of  his 
Spanish  soldiers.  The  next  year  he  collected  an  army  of 
30,000  Germans,  and  marched  into  France.  When  within 
two  days'  march  of  Paris  Francis  made  proposals  of  peace, 
which  were  gladly  accepted  by  Charles,  and  signed,  a.  d. 
1544,  at  Carpi.  Burgundy  remained  with  France,  but 
Francis  pledged  himself  to  support  Charles,  not  only  in 
checking  the  Turks,  but  in  restoring  the  unity  of  faith, 
as  the  anxiety  felt  by  the  Emperor  and  the  Catholics  lest 
the  Protestants  should  acquire  superiority  throughout 
the  Empire  was  not  without  foundation.  The  electors  in 
many  instances  were  declaring  themselves  decidedly  in 
favor  of  the  new  cause.  Universities  were  also  adding 
their  learning  and  strength  to  Luther's  cause. 



One  of  these  electors,  Hermann  of  Cologne,  wished  to 
introduce  into  his  bishopric  important  reforms  and  invited 
Melancthon  to  aid  him.  The  corporation  of  Cologne  and 
other  Catholics  in  power  were  opposed  to  the  adoption  of 
these  doctrines,  and  appealed  to  the  Emperor  and  the  Pope 
to  use  their  authority  in  the  case.  To  make  a  long  story 
short,  the  Emperor  felt  himself  called  upon  to  employ  as  a 
last  argument  against  the  innovations  demanded  by  the 
converted  electors  the  force  of  arms.  Charles  repre- 
sented to  the  Pope  that,  unless  he  joined  him  in  active 
cooperation  against  the  Protestants,  he  could  do  nothing, 
as  he  himself  had  not  the  means,  and  the  Catholic  princes 
of  his  realm  were  without  energy.  Prompt  support  being 
promised,  the  alliance  was  completed,  and  Charles,  to  be 
at  peace  with  the  outside  world,  concluded  a  treaty  with 
Francis  I.  of  France. 

Says  Kohlbausch:  "A  critical  period  had  now  arrived 
in  the  Emperor's  life.  In  forming  the  resolution  to  accom- 
plish with  the  sword  that  which  he  had  so  long  endeavored 
to  effect  by  peaceful  means,  he  fell  into  a  great  error, 
falsely  imagining  that  the  mighty  agitations  of  the  mind 
could  be  checked  and  held  in  chains  by  external  power. 
From  that  moment,  on  *  the  contrary,  he  was  himself 
vanquished  by  that  very  overwhelming  epoch,  the  course 
of  which  until  then  he  had  appeared  to  direct  and  hold  in 

The  Smalcald  League — the  articles  of  confederation 
having  been  drawn  up  by  Luther,  the  principal  members  of 
this  league  being  the  Prince  Elector  of  Saxony,  the  Land- 
grave Philip  of  Hesse,  the  Dukes  of  Bavaria  and  others — 
were  all  the  strongest  opponents  of  Charles  and  his  allies. 
A  battle  was  fought  at  Muhlberg,  a.  d.  1547,  in  which  the 


Emperor  gained  the  victory,  and  took  away  the  territory 
of  the  Elector  of  Saxony,  giving  it  to  Duke  Maurice.  This 
ungrateful  noble,  offended  at  Charles'  preference  for  Span- 
ish statesmen,  such  as  Alva  and  others,  thought  himself 
called  upon  to  defend  the  German  princes,  and,  with  sev- 
eral of  these,  formed  an  alliance  with  the  French  king,  now 
Henry  II.,  against  Charles. 

This  army  suddenly  marched  against  the  Emperor  in 
the  spring  of  1552.  They  hastened  through  Germany, 
and,  after  taking  the  castle  of  Ehrenberg,  reached  Inns- 
briick  but  a  few  hours  after  Charles  had  left ;  he,  being 
sick  with  the  gout,  had  been  hurried  across  the  Alps  on  a 
litter.  After  this  victory  the  truce  of  Passau  was  nego- 
tiated, under  which  fighting  was  to  be  suspended  and 
religious  toleration  promised  to  the  Protestants.  This 
was  assured  by  the  Diet  of  1555,  at  Augsburg.  It  was 
also  agreed  to  permit  princes  and  barons  to  promote  the 
Reformation  in  their  own  territories ,  that  subjects  who 
would  not  accept  the  religion  of  their  lords  must  be 
allowed  to  emigrate.  Church  estates  were  not  to  be 
secularized ;  ecclesiastical  princes  were  required  to  tol- 
erate the  Protestant  worship;  and  if  a  prelate  should 
adopt  the  Reformed  faith  he  must  give  up  his  clerical 
dignities.  This  appeared  a  gain  altogether  for  the 

Finding  that  much  of  his  great  Empire  was  slipping  from 
his  grasp,  Lorraine  being  annexed  to  France,  Charles  became 
discouraged.  He  was  doubtful  as  to  the  outcome  of  the 
great  religious  controversy  that  had  progressed  slowly  but 
surely  in  his  eastern  empire  since  the  execution  of  John 
Huss.  At  the  Augsburg  Council  Charles  announced  his 
Intention  of  resigning  the  kingdoms  of  Spain,  the  Indies, 


Kaples,  and  the  IN'etherlands  to  his  son  Philip,  who  had 
but  recently  married  Mary  of  England.  The  project, 
although  combated  by  the  Catholic  party,  was  adhered  to 
by  Charles,  who,  sending  for  Philip,  transferred  to  him  at 
Brussels,  in  the  same  hall  in  which  he,  forty  years  before, 
had  been  declared  of  age,  all  his  possessions  except  Ger- 
many. Addressing  the  princes  and  nobles,  who  were  all 
deeply  affected,  the  Emperor  said  "that  since  his  seven- 
teenth year  his  whole  thought  had  been  to  promote  the 
glory  of  the  Empire ;  that  he  had  always  been  anxious  to 
be  personally  present  in  all  his  undertakings,  that  he 
might  be  an  eye-witness  of  their  progress  and  results,  for 
which  reason  his  entire  reign  had  been  almost  one  unin- 
terrupted scene  of  pilgrimage  and  traveling ;  that  he  had 
been  nine  times  to  Germany,  six  to  Spain,  four  to  France, 
seven  to  Italy,  ten  to  the  Netherlands,  twice  to  England, 
twice  to  Africa,  and  finally  that  he  had  made  eleven  voy- 
ages by  sea ;  that  now,  however,  his  sinking  body  warned 
him  to  withdraw  from  the  tumult  and  vexation  of  temporal 
affairs,  and  to  transfer  the  burden  of  all  these  cares  to 
younger  shoulders,"  and  much  more  of  serious  import ; 
after  which,  he  turned  to  his  son  Philip,  who  had  fallen 
upon  his  knees  and  now  kissed  his  father's  hand,  and 
earnestly  exhorted  him  to  use  every  effort  in  his  power 
to  render  his  reign  a  glorious  one. 

His  brother  Ferdinand  was  formally  acknowledged 
Emperor  of  Germany  by  the  Electors,  and  Charles  V. 
alone  gladly  entered  a  monastery  of  Spain,  a.  d.  1556,  where, 
two  years  after,  he  died  at  the  comparatively  youthful  age 
of  fifty-six.  This  act  has  ever  since  caused  the  world  to 
wonder.  A  powerful  monarch,  a  successful  general,  a 
man  of  marvelous  executive  ability,  at  the  treachery  of 


adherents,  to  resign  all  his  earthly  splendor  in  order  to 
pass  his  remaining  days  in  utter  seclusion,  is  a  mystery 
human  intelliorence  has  found  difficult  to  solve. 

About  ten  years  before  Charles'  death  Luther  had 
died  at  Eisleben,  at  the  age  of  fifty-three.  They  were  men 
of  one  period  and  worthy  combatants.  Both  died  unsatis- 
fied with  their  work — the  Emperor,  doubtless,  because  he 
had  done  too  much  against  the  Keformation;  Luther, 
because  he  had  not  done  enough  for  it. 

Of  the  Emperor  it  is  said:  "  His  private  life,  for  the  most 
powerful  monarch  of  the  age,  was  decent  and  orderly.  He 
was  inferior  to  no  general  of  his  times ;  was  the  first  to 
arm  when  a  battle  was  fought,  and  the  last  to  take  off  his 
harness ;  was  calm  in  great  reverses ;  indefatigable  in  the 
discharge  of  business,  and,  if  it  had  been  possible  that  half 
a  world  could  be  administered  as  if  the  property  of  a  pri- 
vate individual,  the  task  might  have  been  accomplished  by 
Charles  V.  On  the  other  hand,  Luther  had  striven  to 
direct  the  minds  of  the  people  towards  those  things  in  life 
which  tend  to  the  growth  of  character.  He  had  always 
striven  for  peace,  ^  a  condition  with  which  the  people  were 
hardly  acquainted  at  that  period  in  history.'  " 

To  use  Luther's  own  graphic  language,  he  was  himself 
"  rough,  boisterous,  stormy,  and  altogether  warlike ;  bom 
to  fight  innumerable  devils  and  monsters,  to  remove  stumps 
and  stones,  to  cut  down  thistles  and  thorns,  and  to  clear 
the  wild  woods.''  Dissimulation  and  cowardice  were 
unknown  to  him.  He  was  a  most  faithful  representation 
and  original  type  of  the  German  national  character.  Emi- 
nently a  man  of  the  people,  there  is  no  other  name  to-day 
that  is  so  revered  and  loved  as  Luther's ;  more,  even,  than 
Winf red  (Boniface)  is  he  considered  the  apostle  of  Ger- 
man Christianity. 



Says  Carlyle :  "  The  basis  of  Luther's  life  was  sad- 
ness, earnestness.  In  his  latter  days,  after  all  his  tri- 
umphs and  victories,  he  expresses  himself  heartily  weary 
of  living ;  he  considers  that  God  alone  can  and  will  regu- 
late the  course  things  are  taking,  and  that  perhaps  the 
day  of  judgment  is  not  far  off.  As  for  him,  he  longs  for 
one  thing;  that  God  would  release  him  from  his  labor  and 
let  him  depart  and  be  at  rest.  They  >understand  little  of 
the  man  who  cite  this  in  discredit  of  him.  I  will  call  this 
Luther  a  true,  great  man ;  great  in  intellect,  in  courage, 
affection,  and  in  integrity ;  one  of  the  most  lovable  and 
precious  men;  a  right  spiritual  hero  and  prophet;  once 
more  a  true  son  of  nature  and  fact,  for  whom  these  cen- 
turies, and  many  that  are  to  come  yet,  will  be  thankful 
to  heaven." 

At  the  close  of  Luther's  life  Germany  was  on  the  eve  of 
one  of  the  most  destructive  civil  wars  that  ever  visited  any 
country  known  in  modem  or  ancient  history.  "  The  time 
had  come,"  says  a  great  writer,  "  when  the  Germans  were 
to  render  their  most  important  service  to  mankind.  The 
great  Reformation  found  its  origin  and  support  in  the 
character  of  the  German  race.  From  the  beginning  these 
people  were  distinguished  by  their  preference  of  substance 
to  form;  of  reality  to  show;  of  the  inward  and  spir- 
itual as  opposed  to  appearances  and  display.  They 
were  from  the  earliest  times  the  most  independent 
and  individual  of  men;  passionate  in  their  love  of 
freedom ;  Protestants  by  nature  in  Church  and  State ; 
resolute  in  upholding  the  right  of  private  judgment 
and  personal  liberty.  'Tis  true  these  characteristics 
kept  the  German  Empire  from  becoming  a  strong  na- 
tional power ;   but  they,  also,  saved  the  German  mind 


from  religious  enslavement  and  made  Germany  the  battle- 
field of  the  Reformation." 

Having  already  shown  that  even  the  emperors  of  Ger- 
many were  dependent  upon  a  swarm  of  independent  pow- 
ers, authorizing  their  electors  to  act  for  them,  it  will  be 
seen  that  doctrines  or  beliefs  embraced  by  individual  feu- 
dal lords,  cities  or  leagues,  were  not  to  be  gauged  by  an 
edict  or  a  council  met  together  to  formulate  dogmatical 
articles  of  faith. 

Accordingly  the  Council  of  Trent,  held  at  intervals  for 
eighteen  years  for  the  purpose  of  coming  to  some  under- 
standing as  to  the  course  to  be  pursued  to  strengthen  the 
Mother  Church,  and,  if  possible,  to  regain  the  princes  and 
electors  who  had  deserted  her  for  the  heresies  of  Luther, 
Erasmus,  Melanclithon  and  others  proved  of  little  avail  in 
healing  the  breach  in  Germany.  The  cause  of  its  ill- 
success  for  the  Protestants,  says  one  historian,  "  was  the 
mixture  of  foreigners  presiding  at  these  councils,  whose 
knowledge  of  our  nation  was  little  or  nothing,  but  whose 
influence,  from  the  commencement  of  our  history,  in  all 
external  as  well  as  internal  affaii's,  always  deprived  us  of 

The  Council  closed  in  1 563,  and  Ferdinand  I.  died  in 
1564.  He  was  praised  as  an  excellent  monarch  by  both 
parties.  Catholics,  as  well  as  Protestants. 

Ferdinand's  eldest  son,  Maximilian  II.,  was  chosen  by 
the  Electors  as  his  successor.  Said  his  father  in  praise 
of  him,  at  an  assembly  of  the  princes  of  the  realm, 
"endowed  with  considerable  intellectual  powers,  great 
address,  mildness,  and  goodness  of  heart,  he  is  likewise 
gifted  with  all  the  other  princely  virtues  and  good  mor- 
als ;  possessing  a  disposition  open  to  all  that  is  truly  just, 


good,  and  lionorable,  together  with  a  sincere  love  for  the 
holy  empire  of  the  German  nation,  the  glory  and  pros- 
perity of  which  it  would  be  his  honest  desire  to  promote ; 
that  he  was  master  of  the  six  languages  usually  spoken 
in  Christendom,  and  was  consequently  enabled  to  regu- 
late in  person  all  transactions  with  foreign  powers."  The 
wiilely  circulated  expression  of  Maximilian's,  that  "  God 
alone  could  hold  dominion  over  the  conscience,"  caused 
the  Protestant  electors  to  trust  in  him.  Bohemia,  the 
radical  Refonnation  ground  in  Germany,  was  well  satisfied 
with  Maximilian's  elevation. 

Until  about  this  time  (1565),  there  had  been  no  serious 
outbreak  against  the  Reformation;  but  after  llie  Council 
and  the  doctrines  of  the  Church  had  been  sharply  and 
clearly  defined,  the  breach  became  widened  between 
Catholicism  and  the  two  brandies  of  the  reformei's, — 
Lutherans  and  Anabaptists.  The  inquisition  was  again 
set  in  motion  throughout  Southern  Europe.  The  "  Society 
of  Jesus,"  founded  by  the  Spaniard,  Loyola,  was  devot^ 
solely  now  to  resisting  the  spread  of  the  Reformation. 
"  By  founding  schools,  endowing  chairs  in  the  universities 
and  skillfully  occupying  the  confessionals  of  princes," 
says  Lewis,  "they  soon  acquired  enormous  influence 
among  all  classes."  The  conflict  was  no  longer  for  the 
]X)wer  of  individual  States,  but  for  the  religious  and 
political  enslavement  of  all  the  people  of  Europe.  But 
the  eighteen  thousand  terrible  deaths  inflicted  by  the 
Inquisition  failed  to  lessen  the  enthusiasm  of  the  reformers. 
William  of  Orange,  the  son  of  a  German  prince,  declared 
the  Netherlands  independent  of  the  Spanish  crown  in  1581 
Queen  Elizabeth  of  England  undertook  the  work  of  pro- 
tecting the  freedom  of  Europe  from  Catholic  supremacy; 


but  France,  under  Charles  IX.,  Maximilian's  son-in-law,  had 
attempted  to  annihilate  the  Protestants  (Huguenots)  at 
one  blow  by  the  massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew's  day. 
Maximilian  TI.,upon  hearing  of  this  unnatural  horror,  said: 
"  Would  to  God,  that  my  daughter's  husband  had  taken 
my  advice." 

Under  Maximilian,  who  was  known  to  be  favorable  to 
the  Keformation,  most  of  his  Austrian  subjects  adopted 
the  Augsburg  Confession,  Vienna  becoming  almost 
entirely  Lutheran.  After  reigning  eight  years  he  was 
succeeded  by  his  son,  Eudolph  II.,  who  had  been  educated 
by  the  Spanish  Jesuits,  and  accordingly  the  policy  of 
Spain  and  the  government  of  Germany  were  now  one  and 
the  same,  to-wit :  to  war  against  Protestantism.  Eudolph 
paid  no  respect  to  his  father's  guarantee  of  religious 
freedom  in  his  own  territory,  and  revolts  soon  followed. 
The  Princes  called  together  a  council  and  deposed  Rudolph, 
"because  his  Imperial  Majesty  had  at  various  times 
betrayed  his  incapacity  of  mind." 

Placing  his  brother  Matthias  over  Austria,  Hungary 
and  Moravia,  they  allowed  Eudolph  to  retain  Bohemia. 
But  the  Protestants  of  Bohemia  now  forced  Eudolph  to 
grant  them,  by  letters  patent,  the  full  privileges  of  their 
several  ranks,  and,  in  particular,  the  freedom  of  religious 
worship.  Eudolph,  dying  in  1612j  of  a  broken  heart  at 
his  brother  Matthias'  treatment  of  him,  Matthias,  now  as 
supreme  ruler,  attempted  to  carry  water  upon  both 
shoulders,  metaphorically  speaking.  The  Protestants, 
however,  were  not  united  against  the  Papal  party.  The 
Lutherans  were  opposed  to  Calvinism.  It  was  not  a  con- 
genial religion  for  the  gay  nature  of  the  Germans.  It 
savored  too  much  of  gloom  and  revenge.    At  this  time, 


owing  to  a  half  century  of  comparative  peace,  "  Germany 
was  richly  peopled,  well  cultivated,  and  appeared  to  be  at 
the  summit  of  her  prosperity." 

The  cause  of  the  terrible  war  which  followed,  history 
attributes  to  the  course  of  "  two  young  princes,  cousins  of 
the  Emperor,  educated  together  in  the  school  of  the 
Jesuits,  who  burned  with  zeal  to  restore  the  old  Church 
to  its  original  power,  and  to  destroy  the  heresy  of  Luther 
throughout  the  land."  They  were  the  Duke  of  Bavaria, 
Maximilian,  and  Ferdinand  of  Styria.  Bavaria  had 
remained  largely  Catholic.  The  Protestants  of  Donau- 
werth  having  broken  up  a  monastery  procession,  the 
Emperor  pronounced  a  ban  upon  the  city  and  gave  the 
Duke  orders  for  its  execution.  Capturing  the  city,  he  held 
it  as  security  for  the  cost  of  the  siege,  and  restored  with 
the  sword  the  worship  of  the  Catholic  religion.  This 
caused  the  Protestants  of  South  Germany  to  form  a 
union  for  self-protection.  This  union  expected  help  from 
France.  To  counteract  this  party  the  Catholics  formed  a 
league,  most  of  them  prelates.  They  expected  help  from 
the  Emperor  and  Spain.  Thus  stood  the  state  of  the 
religious  controverey  about  the  year  of  Matthias'  elevation 
to  supreme  power.  The  contest,  so  far,  had  resulted  in 
the  ascendency  of  the  Mother  Church.  The  direct  inci- 
dent which  is  regarded  as  the  beginning  of  hostilities,  and 
which  resulted  in  the  "  Thirty  Years'  Religious  War  of 
Germany,"  is  told  in  history  somewhat  a£i  follows :  The 
Abbot  of  Braunau  closed  an  evangelical  church,* then 
building ;  the  Archbishop  of  Prague  caused  another  to  be 
torn  down.  The  Protestant  nobles  regarded  these  acts  as 
violations  of  the  letters  patent  granted  by  Budolph  II., 
and  complained  to  Matthias.    Being  angry,  he  threatened 


them  as  disturbers  of*  the  peace.  They  believed  his 
decision  was  prompted  by  the  report  of  two  of  the  ten 
councilors  he  had  left  to  govern  Bohemia,  during  a  royal 
journey  through  his  empire.  At  a  council  called  by  the 
Protestants  at  Prague,  soon  after,  after  a^rolonged  and 
bitter  dispute  with  the  two  suspected  councilors,  a  mob 
gathered  and  threw  the  traitors  out  of  the  window, 
^'  according  to  the  Bohemian  custom,"  it  is  claimed- 

Although  the  distance  was  eighty  feet,  the  two  men 
were  but  little  hurt,  and  this  was  regarded  as  a  miracle, 
the  Catholics  declaring  they  had  been  upborne  by  angels' 

The  whole  of  Bohemia  was  now  in  arms.  Matthias, 
sick  with  dropsy,  tried  to  have  Ferdinand,  his  heir,  seek  a 
reconciliation,  but  it  was  claimed  the  Jesuits  defeated 
every  effort  for  peace. 

Matthias  died  in  1619,  while  both  parties  were  prepar- 
ing for  the  terrible  struggle.  Ferdinand  II.  succeeded 
his  father,  all  the  electors,  both  Catholic  and  Protestant, 
voting  for  him  except  the  elector  of  the  Palatinate.  While 
the  crowning  festivities  were  at  their  height,  the  news 
came  that  the  Protestants  of  Bohemia,  Moravia  and  Silesia 
were  opposed  to  Ferdinand.  They  preferred  the  young 
Protestant  elector  of  Palatine,  Frederick,  whose  wife  was 
the  daughter  of  James  I.  of  England.  Frederick  went  to 
Bohemia,  and  upon  proclaiming  religious  liberty,  the 
altars  ami  images  of  the  cathedral  were  destroyed  by  some 
zealots  and  the  church  fitted  up  as  a  Calvinistic  place  of 
worship.  As  much  in  earnest  as  were  the  Lutherans, 
they  could  not  tolerate  such  sacrilegious  behavior  by  Cal- 
vinists.  Therefore,  although  offered  aid  by  the  French, 
and  by  German  princes,  the  Bohemians,  at  the  approach 


of  the  imperial  army  (divided  among  themselves)  retreated 
under  the  walk  of  the  city  of  Prague.  Led  by  the  Duke  of 
Bavaria,  a  decisive  battle  was  fought  at  White  Hill, 
Prague,  November,  1620,  and  the  Protestant  Bohemians 
utterly  defeated.  The  Duke  withdrew  the  letters  patent, 
closed  the  Protestant  churches,  and  drove  the  people  to 
mass.  In  six  months,  twentj^-seven  nobles  were  executed 
in  the  market-place  of  Prague.  Thousands  left  their 
homes,  destitute.  All  the  institutions  of  learning  were 
taken  in  chai^  by  the  Jesuits.  It  is  believed  that, 
during  these  wars  of  persecution,  the  population  of  Bohe- 
mia, which  in  the  beginning  numbered  about  four  millions, 
was  reduced  to  less  than  eight  hundred  thousand.  A  state 
of  uncompromising  warfare  against  Protestantism  being 
now  established  by  the  Emperor  and  Papal  party,  the 
people  accepted  it  and  went  to  work.  From  the  battle  at 
White  Hill  (1620)— the  day  of  the  landing  of  the  Pilgrims 
in  America — until  the  Peace  of  Westphalia  in  1648^  there 
was  not  a  foot  of  territory  that  could  one  day  be  safely 
said  to  belong  to  this  or  that  prince,  this  or  that  country, 
this  or  that  religious  party. 

Says  the  historian:  "The  nobles  themselves  grew 
barbarous  in  the  wild  work  of  war,  in  which  they  were  in 
no  degree  behind  the  common  soldiers ;  or  else  were  tamed 
and  humbled,  their  spirits  broken  by  continued  misery 
and  privations.  The  defiant  spirit  of  their  ancestors  was 
gone.  A  nobleman's  estate  brought  him  now  little  reve- 
nue. The  peasant  had  lost  his  means  of  support;  the 
citizen  his  business  and  enterprise.  In  short,  the  German 
life  at  the  end  of  the  contest  looked  like  death.  The 
imperial  unity  of  the  nation  was  gone,  and  German  history 
might  have  ended  hero  but  for  the  two  great  elements  of 


life  which  had  survived  throughout  their  national  distress ; 
the  spirit  of  the  Reformation  and  the  inborn  constructive 
vigor  always  shown  in  communities  inheriting  a  share  of 
the  old  Saxon  blood."  These  characteristics  had  been 
preserved  in  an  eminent  degree  among  the  people  living 
east  of  the  Elbe  and  called  Prussians.  Although  wars 
had  devastated  these  marshes,  and  their  great  Elector, 
Frederick  William,  had  espoused  the  Protestant  cause, 
this  region  had  not  suffered  so  much  as  Southern  Grermany. 
The  Elector  had  built  up  his  power  out  of  the  wreck  of 
the  Empire,  and  in  a  short  time  Brandenburg  became  the 
center  of  the  great  political  and  intellectual  revival  of 
Germany.  It.  is  not  the  object  of  this  brief  historical 
sketch  of  the  reigning  families  of  Germany,  to  follow  the 
fortunes  of  the  Hapsburg  dynasty  to  the  end  of  its 
supremacy  in  Germany  proper,  a.  d.  1806,  but  only  to 
touch  upon  the  reigns  most  necessary  to  make  clear  the 
conditions  of  the  Hohenzollem  supremacy  in  the  German 
Empire  of  to-day. 



THE  earliest  ancestor  of  this  royal  family  of  Ger- 
many dates  back  to  Count  Thassilo,  who  lived  about 
the  year  800.  Not  mucb  is  known  of  his  descendants 
until  about  a.  d.  1236,  when  the  family  was  divided  into 
two  branches,  the  Franks  and  S  wabians,  the  former  becom- 
ing the  ruling  family.  It  is  not  important  to  follow  the 
careers  of  these  petty  princes  and  their  successors  up  to 
the  year  1415,  when  Sigismond,  the  Emperor  of  Germany, 
at  the  date  of  IIuss'  execution,  sold  the  estate  of  Branden- 
burg to  Frederick  and  conferred  upon  him  the  title  of 
elector  of  Brandenburg. 

The  real  founder  of  the  Brandenburg  Prussian  family, 
however,  was  Frederick  "William,  the  great  Elector,  who 
was  bom  a.  d.  1620.    He  succeeded  his  father,  George    '  ^  ^o 
William,  the  tenth  Elector,  when  but  twenty  years  of  age.         ^O-   ^ 
He  was  brought  up  under  the  overwhelming  shadow  of     '  ^-^  ^  ' 
the  terrible  Thirty  Years'  Civil  War.   In  truth,  he  was  just 
thirty  years  old  when  the  peace  of  Westphal^  ^Ya»*^'g"^,^ '  ^  ^^ J  7 
returning  to  him  his  lost  provinces  and  constituting  him    ^-(,  n.issrHt 
sovereign  of  his  own  domain.    With  that  *  unconquerable 
energy,  possessed  in  a  remarkable  degree  by  the  Hohenzol- 
lem  family,  the  Elector  immediately  dismissed  his  father's 
Chancellor,  Adam  von  Schwarzenberg,  a  Catholic,  who  had 
kept  his  father  first  upon  one  side  and  then  upon  the 
other  of  the    belligerents,  on  account  of  which  vacil- 
lating policy  the  territory  of  Brandenburg  had  unneces- 
sarily suffered. 

^  187 


As  is  generally  claimed,  when  a  man  reaches  an  exalted 
position,  the  Elector's  mother  had  much  to  do  in  shaping 
his  mind  and  character.  He  spent  several  years  at  the 
University  of  Leyden,  devoting  himself  to  the  studies 
required  to  be  mastered  by  princes  of  those  da3^s. 

Having  had  his  first  military  experience  at  the  siege 
of  Breda,  which  his  uncle,  Frederick  Henry  of  Orange,  had 
invested,  he  had  an  opportunity  to  become  acquainted 
with  the  distinguished  soldiers  and  statesmen  then  col- 
lected at  the  Netherlands.  This  active  school  had  much  to 
do  in  directing  his  future  course.  Thereafter  he  thought 
and  acted  for  himself.  After  the  peace  he  directed  his 
attention  to  the  organization  of  a  standing  army.  In  a 
comparatively  short  time  he  had  25,000  troops  disciplined 
according  to  the  Swedish  military  system.  In  1655  he 
formed  an  alliance  with  Charles  X.  of  Sweden,  and  took 
the  city  of  Warsaw  in  Poland.  This  secured  the  inde- 
pendence of  the  Duchy  of  Prussia,  which  had  been  feud- 
atory to  Poland. 

In  1673,  the  Elector  formed  an  alliance  with  the 
Emperor  Leopold  I.,  the  States  of  Denmark,  Hesse-Cassel 
and  other  German  cities,  to  hold  in  check  Louis  XIV.,  who 
had  seized  a  line  of  the  frontier  towns.  Through  the 
treachery  of  the  Emperor  the  Elector  was  defeated,  and 
forced  to  give  up  Wesel  and  Kees.  Two  years  later  the 
Swedes, marching  into  Brandenburg  as  allies  of  Louis  XTV., 
were  met  and  completely  routed.  Pursuing  the  flying 
array  into  Pomerania,  the  Elector  reduced  a  great  portion 
of  this  province,  which  he  released  again  to  Sweden 
upon  the  payment  of  three  hundred  thousand  crowns.  He 
now  directed  his  attention  entirely  to  the  building  up  of 
his  government  and  to  the  welfare  of  his  people. 


In  1685  he  issued  the  celebrated  edict  of  Potsdam, 
which  edict  followed  in  the  same  month  Louis  XIV.'s 
edict  of  Nantes.  Edicts  were  not  generally  issued  by  mere 
Electors  at  that  time,  and,  accordingly,  Frederick  WiUiam 
edict  was  considered  something  out  of  the  usual  course. 
Mme.  de  Maintenon  having  succeeded  in  inducing  Louis 
XIV.  to  assent  to  the  revocation  of  the  instrument  which 
guaranteed  to  the  Huguenots  religious  liberty,  the  fate  of 
Protestantism  in  France  was  sealed.  Persecutions  fol- 
lowed, and  those  who  could  not  be  forced  to  abjure  their 
religious  belief,  and  who  were  able  to  evade  the  guards  on 
the  frontier,  sought  refuge  in  other  lands.  Some  went  to 
England,  some  to  Holland,  some  to  Switzerland,  some  came 
to  the  United  States,  and  a  great  many  went  to  Germany. 
Frederick  William,  himself  a  Protestant,  saw  that  the  very 
best  element  of  the  French  agricultural  and  industrial  pop- 
ulation would  in  time  seek  ways  of  bettering  their  condi- 
tion. He  was  anxious  to  re-populate  his  devastated  estates 
with  this  element,  and  sent  repeated  invitations  for  them 
to  come  and  make  his  principality  their  home.  A  large 
number  accepted  the  invitation  as  early  as  1661,  but  it  was 
not  until  the  revocation  of  the  edict  of  Nantes,  twenty-four 
years  after,  that  the  immigration  assumed  important  pro- 
portions. The  far-seeing  Elector,  believing  that  now  thou- 
sands would  seek  refuge  in  other  lands,  and  desiring  to 
encourage  the  stream  to  flow  in  his  direction,  formally 
issued  the  famous  edict  of  Potsdam,  in  which  he  promised 
religious  freedom  and  a  safe  asylum  throughout  his  domin- 
ion. He  also  promised  assistance  and  free  transportation. 
These  inducements  had  the  effect  of  bringing  over  more  than 
twenty  thousand  French  Protestants  into  the  Northern 
part  of  Germany.  In  fact,  the  Elector  was  so  anxious  thus 



to  increase  nis  population  that  he  used  much  of  his  per- 
sonal means,  declaring  '^  that  he  would  sell  his  plate  rather 
than  that  these  Huguenots  should  lack  succor."  It  is 
stated  by  the  historian  Weiss  that  this  immigration  into 
Prussia  consisted  of  soldiers,  manu&cturers  and  laborers. 
All  received  assistance  in  money,  employment  and  privi- 
leges. This  hospitality  of  the  wise  Elector  proved  a  great 
blessing  to  the  future  of  Prussia^  while  the  Huguenots,  in 
their  turn,  contributed  in  a  proportion  very  superior  to 
their  number  to  the  greatness  of  their  adopted  countiy. 
History  has  justified  the  remark  of  Frederick  the  Great  in 
his  letter  to  the  Duke  d'Alembert:  "Allow  me  to  differ 
with  you,"  he  writes,  "  in  regard  to  the  revocation  of  the 
edict  of  Nantes.  I  am  under  obligations  to  Louis  XIV. 
for  it,  and  would  be  thankful  to  his  nephew  if  he  would 
do  the  same  thing."  This  great  Elector,  whose  principle 
it  was  to  let  every  man  travel  liis  own  way  toward  a  future 
state  of  happiness,  characteristically  expressed  in  these  few 
words  the  significance  of  the  edict  of  Potsdam. 

This  is  but  one  of  the  many  opportunities  he  availed 
himself  of  to  add  to  the  prosperity  of  his  people  and  estate. 
The  "  Great  Elector  "  died  at  Potsdam  a.  d.  1688.  He  was 
succeeded  by  his  son  Frederick,  the  eleventh  Elector  of 
Brandenburg.  The  manner  in  which  the  son  reached  a 
throne  and  became  Frederick  I.,  King  of  Prussia,  shows 
him  to  have  been  a  man  of  unusual  diplomatic  ability. 
The  Austria  Hapsburgs  still  claimed  suzerainty  over  the 
whole  of  Germany.  Frederick's  territory,  after  some  pur- 
chases from  spendthrift  Electors,  and  an  inheritance  of  the 
counties  of  Linden  and  M3rs  from  William  HI.  of  Eng- 
land, whom  the  Brandenburg  troops  escorted  to  Whitehall, 
included  a  little  more  than  forty-five  thousand  square 


miles,  a  principality  not  quite  so  large  as  the  State  of  New 
York.  Europe  was  agitated  by  two  great  wars;  that  of 
the  North,  between  Peter  the  Great  and  his  allies,  Au- 
gustus II.  of  Poland  and  the  King  of  Denmark,  and  Charles 
XIL  of  Sweeden  ;  that  of  the  South,  the  "  War  of  the 
Spanish  Succession."  The  Hapsburgs  were  anxious  for  an 
alliance  with  the  powerful  Elector  of  Prussia,  whose  land 
did  not  belong  to  the  Empire.  Says  the  historian  Lewis : 
"  To  pretend  to  royalty  in  his  German  possessions  was 
impossible  for  Frederick  as  long  as  the  form  of  the  Empire 
continued  to  exist."  The  shrewd  Prince  Eugene  signifi- 
cantly said  of  the  situation  at  the  time :  ^^  The  minister 
that  would  advise  Leopold  II.,  Emperor  of  Germany,  to 
recognize  the  Prussian  throne  ought  to  be  hanged."  At 
Vienna,  however,  great  advantage  was  expected  from  such 
acknowledgment.  Aware  of  this  feeling,  Frederick  had 
himself  and  wife  crowned  King  and  Queen  of  Prussia,  on 
January  18, 1701.  Said  Frederick  the  Great,  in  writing  of 
this  step :  "  In  eflfect,  my  grandfather  declared  to  his  suc- 
cessors, by  this  act,  *  I  have  attained  a  title  for  you ;  show 
yourselves  worthy  of  it.  I  have  laid  the  foundation  of 
your  greatness ;  you  must  finish  the  work.'"  This  new 
King  endeavored  to  imitate  the  Court  of  Louis  XIV.  of 
France.  He  laid  out  Berlin  upon  a  grand  scale ;  built  an 
arsenal,  a  royal  palace  in  Berlin  and  another  at  Charlot- 
tenburg,  which  was  named  for  his  wife,  Sophie  Charlotte 
of  Hanover.  He  founded  the  University  of  Halle,  built 
asylums  for  orphans,  academies  of  science  and  medical 
colleges,  to  further  education.  He  carried  out  his  father's 
policy  in  protecting  religious  freedom  and  strengthening 
the  military  arm  of  his  power. 

Unlike  his  predecessor  Electors  of  Brandenburg,  ne  was 


not  an  economizing  mier,  and  at  his  death,  a.  d.  1713,  the 
finances  of  his  kingdom  were  found  to  be  much  the  reverse 
of  prosperous. 

His  son  and  successor,  Frederick  William  I.,  however, 
followed  in  the  footsteps  of  his  thriving  Hohenzollern 
ancestors.  He  was  averse  to  evcrytliing  French  in  the 
administration  of  his  kingdom.  In  every  department  he 
practiced  the  most  rigid  economy.  He  endeavored,  with 
the  narrow  views  of  the  age,  to  wall  his  people  in.  He 
prohibited  their  wearing  cloth  not  woven  at  home,  set- 
ting the  example  with  his  own  family.  He  established  an 
informal  evening  gathering  of  his  friends  and  advisers, 
where  each  smoked  to  his  heart's  content;  these  meetings 
became  famous  as  the  "  Tobacco  Parliament."  He  was 
a  furious-tempered  man.  He  seemed  at  times  wholly 
devoted  to  his  "blue  children" — a  name  he  gave  to  his 
army.  The  quaint  character  of  the  instructor  in  tactics 
and  discipline  of  the  army,  "  Old  Dessauer,"  has  furnished 
many  a  German  author  with  the  ideal  tjrpe  of  a  martinet. 
Frederick  William  is  best  known  to  the  public,  however, 
as  the  Prussian  King  who  had  a  monomania  for  stalwart 
soldiers.  Wherever  a  giant  was  found  throughout  the 
wide  world  he  was  forced  or  hired  to  join  Frederick  Will- 
iam of  Prussia's  "Royal  Guard  of  Grenadiers" ;  and  if  a 
giantess  was  discovered  she  was  forthwith  approached  and 
persuaded  to  marry  her  equal  in  size  out  of  the  Guards,  in 
order  that  the  race  of  powerful  soldiers  might  go  on 
increasing  to  the  King's  great  joy. 

Frederick  William's  wife  was  Sophia  Dorothea,  a  Han- 
overian, and  sister  to  George  II.  of  England.  She  bore 
the  King  ten  children,  the  eldest  of  this  ancient  number 
being  Frederick,  afterwards  known  as  "Frederick  the 


During  Frederick  William  I.'s  reign  of  twenty-seven 
years,  he  engaged  in  but  two  wars;  the  first  against 
Charles  XII.  of  Sweden,  the  other  in  the  settlement  of 
the  Polish  Succession.  Before  setting  out  for  one  of  these 
wars,  it  is  said  he  turned  to  his  privy  council  and  exclaimed 
wittily:  "As  I  am  a  man,  and  may  therefore  die  of  a  shot, 
I  command  you  to  take  good  care  of  Fritz  (Frederick  the 
Great) ;  and  I  give  all  of  you  my  wife  to  begin  with.  My 
curse,  if  you  do  not  bury  me  at  Potsdam  in  the  church 
there,  without  feasting  and  without  ceremony." 

He  left  his  son  six  miUions  in  the  treasury,  and  an 
army  of  seventy-two  thousand  well  equipped  and  disci- 
plined men.    He  died  a.  d.  1740. 

About  lYOO  A.  D.,  or  at  the  beginning  of  Frederick 
William's  reign,  Germany  had  reached  the  extreme  point 
of  disintegration.  There  was  no  more  Empire  but  num- 
berless small  states,  in  all  three  hundred  and  fourteen,  and 
fourteen  hundred  and  seventy -five  small  territories. 
Each  of  these  districts  was  practically  independent,  and 
"it  was  only  in  the  use  of  a  common  language,  and 
in  the  production  and  enjoyment  of  a  common  liter- 
ature, that  the  Germans  preserved,  in  any  sense,  the 
semblance  of  national  or  race  unity."  Some  authors 
claim  that  the  spirit  of  freedom  was  almost  extinct  at  this 
time  among  the  Germans.  To  the  contrary,  the  people 
had  more  individual  liberty;  less  war  gave  them  more 
time  for  studious  thought  and  individual  progress.  In 
this  century  began  the  greatest  period  of  intellectual 
activity  before  or  since  known  in  Germany. 

Frederick  II.  of  Prussia  ascended  the  throne  a.  d. 
1740,  at  the  age  of  twenty-eight.  The  biographer  of  the 
great  Montesquieu,  in  speaking  of  that  statesman's  travels 




in  foreign  lands,  said:  "  Montesquieu  did  not  go  to  Ger- 
many beoauae  then  Frederick  the  Great  had  not  reigned." 
It  may  in  truth  be  said  that  the  early  Germans  had  their 
Arminius,  the  Goths  their  Theodorick,  the  Merovingians 
their  Clovis,  the  Carlovingians  their  Charlemagne,  the 
Franconians  their  Henry  IV.,  the  Hohenstaufens  their 
'  Frederick  Barbarossa,  the  Hapsburgs  their  Charles  V., 
/  and  the  HohenzoUems  their  Frederick  the  Great. 

This  prince  in  his  youth  showed  none  of  the  warlike 
characteristics  which  had  distinguished  the  lives  of  his 
three  preceding  ancestors.  He  was  of  modest  and  retiring 
disposition,  with  a  marked  tendency  towards  scholastic 
pursuits.  Placed  under  the  instruction  of  French  professors, 
"  he  never  had  a  mother  tongue,"  says  Macaulay,  "  owing 
to  which  deficiency  the  world  lost  one  of  its  best  authors." 
Having  been  forbidden  by  his  father  to  study  the  ancient 
languages,  and  consequently  unfamiliar  with  the  writings 
of  the  Greeks  and  Bomans,  he  found  in  the  caustic,  criti- 
cal and  intelligent  works  of  Voltaire  his  highest  gratifica- 
tion. Buled  during  his  time  by  a  despotic  father,  in  his 
youth  the  unhappy  prince  attempted  to  escape  to  England, 
and  seek  the  protection  of  his  uncle,  the  King  of  England ; 
but  being  caught,  he  was  taken  to  the  fortress  of  Eustrin, 
where  he  was  forced  to  witness  the  shooting  of  his  youth- 
ful friend.  Lieutenant  Katt,  who  had  aided  him  in  his 
flight.  It  has  been  affirmed,  but  with  little  show  of  authen- 
ticity, that  but  for  the  interference  of  the  principal 
sovereigns  of  Europe,  Frederick  himself  would  have  been 
shot  as  a  deserter.  His  eminently  military  father  was, 
no  doubt,  disappointed  at  the  effeminate  and  eiTatic 
fancies  of  Prussia's  future  king.  Persecution  seemed, 
therefore,  the  father's  duty.    That  his  determination  to 


make  Frederick  a  soldier  is  clear  from  the  celebrated  mes- 
sage he  had  conveyed  to  him,  to-wit :  "  That  if  he  would 
renounce  his  claim  to  the  throne,  he  could  study,  travel,  or 
do  whatever  he  pleased."  To  this  stern  proposition,  the 
prince  returned  the  characteristic  reply:  "  I  will  accept 
my  father's  ultimatum,  in  case  he  will  declare  I  am  no 
longer  his  son." 

This,  it  seems,  his  father  was  not  prepared  to  do. 

Those,  however,  who  had  believed  the  prince  a 
dreamer  before  his  elevation  to  tlie  throne,  were  made  to 
see  their  mistake  soon  after  his  father's  death.  The  rise 
of  Prussia  to  a  first-class  power  required  an  extension  of 
her  domains.  The  same  year,  believing  himself  called 
upon  to  show  his  mettle,  and  believing  himself  also 
fully  competent  to  the  task  of  carrying  out  the 
designs  of  his  ancestors,  Frederick  set  his  splendid  army 
in  motion  toward  Silesia^  a  province  of  Austria.  Through 
the  "  Pragmatic  Sanction,"  Maria  Theresa  had  ascended 
the  throne  of  Austria.  This  appeared  to  Frederick  a 
favorable  moment  to  renew  an  old  claim  the  Hohenzol- 
lerns  had  to  the  Duchies  of  Glogau  and  Segan,  as  well  as 
the  greater  part  of  Silesia.  The  claim  being  rejected, 
Frederick  soon  succeeded  in  taking  several  outlying 
districts  of  Silesia.  But  the  following  spring  the  Austrian 
Field-Marshal  Neuperg,  who  had  been  sent  against  Fred- 
erick, came  very  near  bringing  the  adventurous  expedition 
of  the  young  King,  as  well  as  his  martial  career,  to  an  in- 
glorious end. 

In  the  spring  of  1741,  the  Prussian  general,  the  Prince 
of  Dessau,  captured  the  fortress  of  Ologau,  and  a  month 
later,  the  main  bodies  of  the  Prussian  and  Austrian  armies 
met  at  Molwitz.    The  battle  raged  hotly  all  the  afternoon. 



Toward  nightfall,  the  right  wing  of  the  Pmssians  being 
thrown  into  confusion  and  sev^eral  batteries  captured, 
Frederick  became  demoralized,  not  taking  his  baptism  of 
blood  with  the  usual  Hohenzollern  wplomh.  With  a  few 
followers,  leaving  the  army  in  charge  of  Field-Mai*slial 
Schwerin,  the  young  King  galloped  to  the  rear,  hoping  to 
find  safe  refuge  in  the  small  town  of  Oppeln,  which  he 
supposed  to  be  still  occupied  by  a  detachment  of  Prussians. 
But  the  place  had  been  taken,  and  the  first  information 
received  to  that  effect  by  the  flying  King,  was  a  sudden 
explosion  of  musketry  at  his  approach.  Narrowly  escaping 
being  taken  prisoner,  he  hurried  away  to  the  village  of 
Loewen,  where  he  anxiously  awaited  news  of  the  fate  of 
his  army. 

On  the  following  day,  he  Vas  made  happy  with  the 
information  that  General  Schwerin,  followed  by  the  Aus- 
trian field-marshal,  had  been  able  by  an  unobserved  move- 
ment, to  throw  his  main  force  upon  the  enemy's  flank,  and, 
by  a  well-sustained  fire  of  infantry  and  artillery,  to  throw 
the  Austrian  forces  into  confusion.  Following  up  his 
success  with  his  cavalry,  Schwerin  achieved  a  complete 

This  fortunate  turn  in  his  affairs  gave  the  impetus  to 
Frederick's  future  brilliant  career.  The  eyes  of  Europe 
were  at  once  turned  upon  the  young  King.  If  ever  the  say- 
ing "  that  success  is  the  test  of  merit "  had  an  application, 
it  was  in  this  instance.  Had  not  Field-Marshal  Schwerin 
thus  promptly  and  gallantly  turned  the  tide  of  battle,  or, 
had  he  been  influenced  by  the  demoralization  of  his  King, 
the  world  would  never  have  heard  of  Frederick  the  Greats 
but,  taking  advantage  of  his  discomfiture,  would  have 
handed  him  down  to  posterity  as  Frederick  the  Cowa/rd 


The  momentous  consequences  of  a  Prussian  defeat  on  this 
occasion  seem  to  have  been  realized  by  Field-Marshal 
Sohwerin.  The  battle  gave  to  Frederick  temporarily  the 
province  of  Silesia,  but  it  was  the  signal  for  a  general 
European  war,  which  is  knowii  in  history  as  "  The  Aus- 
trian War  of  Succession."  Both  France  and  Bavaria 
became  the  allies  of  Austria — ^a  friendliness  which  had  not 
existed  for  three  hundred  years  between  the  former — and 
Austria  was  thus  revived.  Frederick  having  gained  a 
second  victory  over  the  Austrians  in  the  spring  of  1742,  at 
Chotusitz,  Maria  Theresa  concluded  a  treaty  of  peace  with 
him  by  which  Silesia  and  the  county  of  Geatz  were  defi- 
nitely ceded  to  Prussia.  This  peace  was  obtained  by  Maria 
Theresa  in  order  to  secure  the  vote  of  Frederick  towards 
securing  for  her  husband,  Francis  of  Lorraine,  the  election 
of  Emperor  of  Germany. 

Availing  himself  of  the  few  years  peace  that  followed 
to  reorganize  and  strengthen  his  army,  Frederick,  in  1744, 
becoming  uneasy  at  the  repeated  victories  of  the  Austrians 
over  the  French  and  Bavarians,  at  the  head  of  thirty  thou- 
sand men,  marched  into  Bohemia  and  took  Prague.  The 
Duke.of  Lorraine  meeting  him,  other  battles  were  fought, 
the  Prussians  always  victorious.  But  Frederick  now 
retreated  into  Silesia,  when  Maria  Theresa,  thinking  this 
an  opportune  moment  to  repossess  herself  of  Silesia,  sent 
troops  into  the  country  and  seized  several  fortresses. 
Frederick,  at  this  activity  of  the  Empress,  made  a  sudden 
attack  upon  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  (Maria  Theresa's  pet 
general  and  a  brother-in-law)  and  defeated  him  at  Hohen- 
friedberg.  Silesia  was  quickly  evacuated  by  the  Austrians. 
The  Duke,  however,  returned  the  next  year  with  forty 
thousand  men,  while  Frederick  could  oppose  him  with  but 


eighteen  thousand.  After  a  hard-contested  battle  the 
Prussians  gained  the  victory.  The  same  year  Frederick 
defeated  the  united  forces  of  the  Austrians  and  Saxons, 
who  were  preparing  to  advance  upon  Berlin,  by  entering 
the  capital  of  Saxony  with  his  triumphant  army.  Silesia 
was  again  ceded  to  him.  By  this  time  Prussia  had  assumed 
imposing  proportions ;  her  population  had  doubled,  and 
Frederick  now  seemed  to  hold  the  destinies  of  Germany  in 
his  hand. 

During  the  peace  which  followed,  lasting  eleven  years, 
Frederick  advanced  in  many  ways.  Keeping  a  steady  eye 
upon  the  efficiency  of  his  army,  he  lost  no  opportunity  to 
develop  a  love  of  learning,  the  sciences  and  arts,  and  to 
foster  manufactures  and  agriculture  among  the  people. 
His  great  and  worthy  aims  were  to  inaugurate  a  thorough 
system  of  popular  education,  the  abrogation  of  obsolete 
and  inhuman  laws,  and  the  enactment  of  others  more  in 
harmony  with  the  progressive  spirit  of  the  age.  It  was 
during  this  period  that  he  wrote  his  "  Memoirs  pour  Servir 
BHistovre  de  Bromdeburg^^  and  a  poem,  '^  L^Art  de 

But  while  devoting  his  energies  to  the  advancement  of 
his  subjects,  a  conspiracy  was  started  on  foot  between  the 
ruling  princes  of  Saxony  and  Bavaria,  the  Empress  of  Aus- 
tria and  Elizabeth  of  Russia — Peter  the  Great's  grand- 
daughter— the  Kings  of  France  and  Sweden,  to  dismem- 
ber the  Prussian  kingdom  and  divide  the  spoils  among 
themselves.  Frederick,  with  a  population  of  about  five 
million  souls,  was  about  to  be  attacked  by  a  combination 
of  sovereigns  ruling  over  more  than  one  hundred  millions 
of  people.  But  the  humiliating  phase  of  the  situation  was 
that  three  of  the  principal  German  States  were  conspiring 


•c    . 

s  g 

18  3 

Mo  H 

J  i 
5  I 



with  foreign  potentates  —  among  them  the  hereditary  foe 
of  Germany,  France — for  the  destruction  of  the  fourth 
and  most  thoroughly  Gennan  kingdom  of  them  all.  But 
it  was  only  an  exhibition  of  the  German  characteristics, 
envy  and  jealousy,  upon  a  large  scale.  The  Crown-Prince 
of  Bussia,  Peter  III.,  however,  proved  himself  a  friend  in 
need,  and  gave  Frederick  timely  warning  that  the  attack 
was  to  be  made  the  following  spring.  Thereupon  the 
Prussian  King  resolved  to  strike  the  first  blow.  Securing 
an  alliance  with  England  he  hurriedly  entered  Saxony, 
September  30,  1756,  with  an  army  of  seventy  thousand 
men,  seized  the  state  paper  in  Dresden  containing  the  full 
stipulations  of  the  conspiracy  and  published  it  to  the  world. 
This  had  the  effect  of  bringing  public  opinion  to  his  side, 
with  missives  of  warm  and  immediate  sympathy.  The 
first  encounter  at  Lowositz,  in  October  of  the  same  year, 
inaugurated  Frederick's  "  Seven  Tears'  War."  Saxony's 
army  surrendered  a  little  later  on,  reducing  the  country  to 
a  quasi- Prussian  province. 

This  unexpected  and  favorable  turn  Frederick  had 
made,  had  the  effect  of  spurring  on  the  allied  powers  to 
more  energetic  measures.  Austria  sent  forward  all  her 
available  troops.  Bussia  furnished  a  hundred  thousand 
men,  Sweden,  France,  and  the  German  smaller  states 
rushed  forward  large  armies,  until  not  less  than  half  a 
million  of  men  were  under  marching  orders,  determined 
to  annihilate  Prussia's  King  and  divide  Prussia.  Fred- 
erick's only  hope  of  escape  was  by  prompt  and  decisive 
action.  To  meet  them  by  detachments  and  dispatch  them 
by  sections  was  soon  decided  upon. 

Dividing  his  army  into  four  grand  divisions,  he  plunged 
into  Bohemia,  captured  the  enemies'  supplies,  and  on  the 


6th  of  May  his  united  forces  reached  Prague.  During  the 
battle  which  followed  the  brave,  old  Field-Marshal 
Schwerin  again  saved  the  day,  but  at  the  sacrifice  of  his 
own  noble  life.  The  victory  was  complete,  the  Austrians 
fleeing  in  all  directions. 

Frederick's  hold  upon  Bohemia,  however,  only  lasted 
six  weeks  at  this  time,  for  in  a  second  battle  at  Kollin  the 
following  June,  he  was  defeated  and  forced  to  evacuate 
the  country,  and  Saxony  as  well.  In  the  meantime  the 
French  had  invaded  Prussian  territorv,  and  the  Eussians 
and  Swedes  were  marching  upon  Berlin.  Frederick 
decided  to  attack  the  French  army  first.  Coming  upon 
them  at  Rossbach,  he  defeated  the  French  general-in-chief. 
Count  Clermont,  taking  seven  thousand  prisoners.  The 
English  being  much  pleased  at  this  success,  forthwith  fur- 
nished Frederick  with  more  money  and  men.  Turning 
now  upon  the  Austrians,  who  were  already  in  possession 
of  Berlin,  Schweidnitz  and  Breslau,  with  but  thirty  thou- 
sand men,  he  attacked  an  army  of  eighty  thousand,  killed 
and  captured  twenty-seven  thousand  prisoners,  took  one 
hundred  and  thirty  guns,  fifty  standards,  and  four  thou- 
sand wagons,  etc.  The  following  year  he  recaptured 
Schweidnitz,  and  with  thirty-seven  thousand  troops  de- 
feated sixty  thousand  Eussians  at  Zomdorf.  This  was  the 
bitterest  and  bloodiest  battle  of  the  whole  war.  The  cruel 
depredations  by  the  Eussian  Cossacks  and  barbarous 
Calmucks  had  so  exasperated  Frederick  that  he  issued  an 
order  before  the  battle  begun  to  give  "  no  quarter."  Con- 
sequently the  slaughter  was  almost  unparalleled.  The 
Eussians  having  had  enough  of  Frederick's  skill  and  de- 
termination for  a  season,  returned  from  Prussian  terri- 
tory.   Frederick  was  now  at  liberty  to  pay  his  undivided 


attention  to  Saxony.  But,  as  in  peace  and  war,  few  men 
are  blessed  with  perennial  success,  the  King  now  met 
with  a  series  of  reverses.  On  October  14, 1768,  he  was 
surprised  and  beaten  at  Hoch-Kirch;  but  reuniting  his 
forces  he  retook  Dresden  from  the  Austrians;  the  year 
1759  also  opened  unfavorably  for  the  Prussians.  The 
Russians  again  appeared  at  the  frontier  with  overwhelm- 
ing numbers,  and  defeated  the  Prussians  near  the  Oder 
and  nearly  annihilated  them.  Dresden  fell  into  the  hands 
of  the  enemy  with  twelve  thousand  Prussian  troops.  Ber- 
lin was  again  taken  by  the  Russians,  and  the  greater  part 
of  Saxony  had  been  lost  by  the  battle  of  Torgon  in  1760. 
Frederick's  cause  now  seemed  hopeless.  But  for  the 
patriotism  and  devotion  of  his  people,  and  the  courage  and 
ardor  of  his  army,  he  would  hardly  have  continued  the 
struggle  longer.  But,  like  a  tiger  at  bay,  in  this  dire 
emergency,  the  Empress  Elizabeth  of  Russia,  happily  for 
Frederick,  was  called  hence.  Peter  III.,  his  steadfast 
friend,  upon  ascending  the  Russian  throne,  forthwith  with- 
drew from  the  coalition.  The  Prussians  now  turned  to 
Austria,  and  throwing  a  force  into  Silesia,  Frederick  de- 
feated them  at  Burkersdorf  amd  at  Freiberg.  The  last 
ally  of  the  Austrians,  the  French,  now  withdrew,  leaving 
this  power  to  cope  with  Prussia  single  handed.  At  this 
juncture  in  her  affairs,  Maria  Theresa  thought  it  wise  to 
make  peace  with  Frederick  upon  as  favorable  terms  as 
possible.  The  treaty  was  signed  February,  1763,  and 
Prussia  was  left  in  sole  possession  of  Silesia.  Thus  ended 
a  struggle  which  stands  single  of  its  kind  in  the  annals  of 
war.  For  eight  years  Frederick  had  been  absent  from  his 
capital,  and  the  reception  given  him  by  a  grateful  people 
on  his  return,  can  well  be  imagined. 


And  yet,  after  this  great  expenditure  of  men  and 
money,  historians  say  Prussia  did  not  owe  a  doUar,  but, 
sad  to  relate,  its  population  had  diminished  by  one-tenth. 
For  the  remaining  twenty-three  years  of  Frederick's 
reign,  he  devoted  himself  to  the  recuperation  of  his  peo- 
ple's interests.  He  practiced  the  most  rigid  economy  in 
the  government  as  well  as  his  individual  ex|>enses.  It  is 
said,  for  twenty-three  years,  he  ordered  but  one  fine  suit 
of  clothes.  He  worked  twenty  hours  out  of  the  twenty- 
four.  Perfect  order  reigned  throughout  Prussia;  prop- 
erty was  secure,  and  speech  and  the  press  were  free.  Be- 
ing lampooned  one  day,  a  friend  brought  the  fact  to  his 
notice.  "Oh!''  said  Frederick,  "my  people  and  I  under- 
stand each  other ;  they  aay  what  they  like,  and  I  dx>  what 
I  like.  This  was  the  secret  of  his  government ;  he  did 
what  he  liked,  and  as  he  only  liked  to  do  what  was  the 
best  for  his  subjects,  his  government  was  eminently  suc- 
cessful. His  ideas  of  his  responsibility  in  the  stewardship 
of  the  aflPairs  of  the  throne  of  Prussia,  are  sound,  and 
appear  original  for  that  day.  Said  he,  "We  kings  are 
merely  the  stewards  appointed  for  the  administration  of 
the  general  fund ;  and  if,  as  such,  we  were  to  apply  to  our 
own  personal  expenditure  more  than  is  reasonably  neces- 
sary, we  should,  by  such  proceeding,  not  only  bring  down 
upon  ourselves  severe  condemnation,  in  the  first  place,  for 
extravagance,  but  likewise  for  having  fraudulently  taken 
possession  of  that  which  was  confided  to  our  charge  for 
the  public  weal." 

There  is  no  doubt  but  that  the  literary  turn  of  Freder- 
ick's mind  was  the  result  of  the  great  intellectual  awaken- 
ing which  was  beginning  to  be  felt  throughout  France  and 
Germany.    The  French  authors,  many  of  them  belonging 


to  the  school  of  the  "  Economists,"  were  poets,  philosophers 
and  statesmen,  represented  by  such  men  as  Montesquieu, 
Racine,  Voltaire  and  Rousseau.  The  rising  German 
authors,  but  of  a  different  school,  were  Lessing,  Klopstock 
and  Goethe,  and  were  soon  followed  by  Kant,  Fichte,  Ja- 
cobi  and  Schiller.  Frederick  the  Great,  having  been  much 
impressed  with  the  writings  of  Montesquieu  in  his  youth, 
antl,  later,  with  Voltaire's  works,  during  a  visit  down  the 
Rhine,  he  invited  the  author,  who  was  at  Brussels,  to  pay 
him  a  visit.  Voltaire  accepted,  and  in  1750  took  up  his 
residence  at  the  palace  in  Potsdam.  Frederick  the  Great 
held  an  exalted  opinion  of  the  French  philosopher's 
genius,  and  the  two  men  had  a  very  pleasant  time 
together  as  long  as  the  King  extolled  the  author's 
verees  with  indiscriminate  praise,  but  the  time  came 
when  Frederick  seemed  to  enjoy  teasing  rather  than 
praising  Voltaire.  The  writer  Muehler  is  authority  for 
the  following  incident,  which  goes  far  to  show  some  of  the 
reasons  why  the  two  former  friends  parted  in  coldness, 
which  coldness  in  after  years  increased  to  bitter  hatred. 

"  Upon  one  occasion,"  says  he,  "  an  Englishman 
appeared  at  the  Prussian  Court,  possessed  of  so  extraord- 
inary a  memory  that,  after  a  hundred  pages  of  any  work 
had  been  read  to  him,  he  declared  he  could  forthwith 
repeat  the  whole,  word  for  word.  Frederick  was  much 
impressed  with  this  gift  of  memory,  and  putting  it  to  test 
one  evening,  found  by  the  result  a  confirmation  of  the 
man's  claim.  Just  as  he  was  upon  the  point  of  dismissing 
the  Englishman,  Voltaire  sent  to  inquire  if  His  Majesty 
had  half  an  hour's  leisure  in  which  to  listen  to  a  poem  he 
had  just  completed  ?  Frederick,  struck  with  the  apropos 
inquiry,  felt  very  much  inclined  to  play  a  joke  upon  Vol- 


taire,  and  sent  an  affinnative  reply.  He  now  requested 
the  Englishman  to  secret  himself  behind  a  screen,  with  the 
adjuration  to  treasure  up  every  word  he  should  hear. 
The  great  poet  entered  and  read  through  the  whole  of  his 
verses  with  great  declamation  and  evident  self-satisfaction. 
The  King  listened  with  coolness,  and  then  said :  'Why,  I 
must  candidly  confess,  my  dear  Voltaire,  that  it  looks  to  me 
as  though  you  were  claiming  for  your  own  what  belongs 
to  others.    I  have  noticed  this  more  than  once  before.' 

''Voltaire's  indignation  at  being  thought  a  plagiarist, 
gave  to  his  countenance  an  expression — always  a  subject 
for  caricaturists — of  extreme  harshness  and  bitterness.  He 
was  mortally  offended,  and  assured  the  King  he  had  been 
misled  by  a  treacherous  memory,  and  was  acting  witli 
great  injustice  toward  him.  The  King  replied,  indiffer- 
ently :  '  But,  if  I  prove  to  you  that  your  verses  are  already 
known  by  a  stranger  at  my  .court,  what  then?'  "All 
that  your  Majesty  may  bring  forward,  all  assurances  are 
to  me  mere  empty  words,  for  I  can  disprove  aU  and  every- 
thing ! '  replied  Voltaire,  warmly. 

"  Upon  this  the  King  ordered  the  Englishman  to  be  in- 
troduced from  the  next  room.  Thereupon  he  was  com- 
manded to  recite  the  verses,  and  without  a  moment's  hesi- 
tation gave  Voltaire's  poem  verbatim  et  literatim.  Half 
mad  with  astonishment  and  rage,  the  poet  rose  from  his 
seat, exclaiming,  "  Heaven!  destroy  with  thy  thunderbolt 
this  robber  of  my  verses!  What  magic  is  this  which  is 
being  conjured  up  to  drive  me  to  desperation  ?'  and  rushed 
from  the  King's  presence  in  a  towering  passion.  Frederick, 
however,  enjoyed  Voltaire's  mystification  immensely." 

The  dinnei's  of  Frederick  the  Great  were  the  occasions 
of  his  day,  pour  faire  rire^  and  for  unrestrained  satire, 


discussion  and  repartee.  Surrounoed  by  genial  spirits 
called  the  "  illuminati,"  the  festivities  of  the  table  were 
often  carried  far  into  the  night.  The  King  also  had 
organized  an  orchestra  at  whose  concerts  he  himself  often 
performed  an  air  upon  the  flute.  A  characteristic  anecdote 
is  told  of  his  skill  in  playing  this  instrument,  as  w.ell  as 
his  keen  enjoyment  of  quaint  surroundings  and  unusual 

"  In  the  course  of  a  journey  once  made  to  Holland^ 
quite  incognitOy  he  arrived  at  a  small  tavern  in  Amsterdam 
and  gave  himself  out  as  a  musician.  The  town  being 
celebrated  for  a  certain  rich  cake,  the  King  thought  he 
would  like  to  taste  one,  and  ordered  his  aide-de-camp  to 
procure  it  of  the  landlady.  The  Colonel  obeyed,  but  the 
landlady,  measuring  the  messenger  from  top  to  toe,  and  a 
little  suspicious  of  her  plainly  dressed  guests,  exclaimed : 
*Oh,  yes,  it  is  all  very  well  for  you  to  order  a  cake,  but 
pray,  sir,  can  you  pay  for  it  after  it  is  made  ?  Do  you 
not  know  that  such  a  cake  as  you  order  will  cost  more  than 
seven  guilders  ? ' 

"  To  this  the  Colonel,  much  amused,  replied,  that  the 
gentleman  with  whom  he  traveled  was  very  rich ;  that  he 
played  the  flute  so  beautifully,  whenever  he  performed  in 
public  a  considerable  sum  was  collected  in  a  very  short 
time.  'Indeed!'  cried  the  landlady,  'if  that  be  so,  then 
I  must  hear  him  immediately.'  Saying  which,  she  hurried 
on  to  the  King's  chamber,  and  entering  without  ceremony, 
courtesied,  and  said :  '  I  understand,  sir,  you  play  a  tunc 
very  well  on  the  flute ;  oblige  me  by  warbling  something 
for  me  to  hear.'  At  first  Frederick  did  not  comprehend 
the  situation,  but  was  soon  informed  by  the  Colonel  in 
French,  upon  which  he  seized  his  flute  from  the  table  and 


played  with  so  much  spirit  and  in  such  a  masterly  style 
that  the  landlady  was  carried  away  with  enthusiasm,  and 
exclaimed :  '  Excellent !  excellent  I  you  do,  indeed,  play 
sweetly,  and  I  dare  say,  you  earn  many  a  guilder ;  at  any 
rate,  you  shall  have  your  cake,'  and  hurried  away  to  ful- 
fill her  promise." 
L^  A  recent  work  published  in  Germany,  entitled  "  Fred- 
^^  erick  the  Great's  Influence  on  German  Literature,"  by 
Professor  Suphan,  has  many  interesting  facts  concerning 
the  writings  left  by  Frederick  II.  In  speaking  of  the  rise 
of  letters  in  Germany,  he  says,  in  substance : 

The  last  half  of  the  eighteenth  century  in  Germany 
must  be  designated  as  the  era  of  Frederick  the  Great  and 
Goethe.  For  the  first  time  in  the  literary  history  of  two 
thousand  years  we  have  a  great  literary  epoch  for  which 
the  name  of  the  greatest  contemporay  ruler  is  an  inade- 
quate description.  The  names  of  Augustus,  Charlemagne, 
Elizabeth,  Louis  XIV.,  call  up  each  a  complete  notion  of 
the  period  in  which  they  lived,  and  of  the  production, 
artistic,  literary,  political,  industrial,  and  economical,  that 
went  on  about  them.  The  name  of  Frederick  the  Great, 
however,  associates  itself  only  with  an  age  of  martial 
heroism  and  brilliant  victory;  of  vigorous  economic  ad- 
ministration, the  establishment  of  Prussian  prestige,  and 
the  deepening  of  the  national  self-respect.  Ilis  name  does 
not  suggest  that  the  years  of  his  famous  successes  were 
also  the  years  when  German  literature  was  ripening  to  ma- 
turity, and  the  first  fruits  had  already  fallen.  Goethe! — 
and  all  the  productions  in  the  fields  of  art,  poetry,  philos- 
ophy and  science  through  a  half  century  of  earnest  effort 
and  brilliant  achievement,  are  recalled  in  association  with 
that  name.    The  sum  of  the  last  half  of  the  preceding 


century  amounts  to  Frederick  the  Great  and  Goethe.  Les- 
sing,  \yith  all  his  admiration  for  the  Prussian  King,  denies 
him  every  claim  to  thanks  at  the  hands  of  German  litera- 
ture, but  adds :  "  I  should  not  be  willing  to  sweiir  that  a 
flatterer  may  not  one  day  come  who  will  think  well  of 
calling  the  present  era  of  German  literature  the  era  of 
Frederick  the  Great." 

In  1766  the  poet  Herder  wrote  a  dissertation  upon  Ger- 
man literature,  in  which  the  views  and  aims  expressed  in 
1780  by  Frederick  the  Great  essentially  coincide.  Though 
the  one  seeks  his  standards  of  taste  in  England  and  the 
other  in  France,  both  are  conscious  of  the  feebleness  of 
German  literature;  both  are  striving  towards  a  funda- 
mental bettering  of  its  condition ;  both  recognize  that  to  this 
end  the  language  must  first  be  perfected;  both  insist  upon 
a  study  of  the  classics  and  demand  careful  translations, 
not  imitations;  both  see  the  day  of  attainment  coming ; 
both  think  it  still  afar  off;  but  both  are  laboring  unrest- 
ingly  in  earnest  towards  the  same  goal.  Frederick  prophe- 
sies the  time  ''when  the  German  language,  polished 
and  perfected,  will  be  taught  in  the  schools  of  France  and 
the  fame  of  its  literature  be  spread  from  one  end  of 
Europe  to  the  other.  "  The  days  are  not  yet  come,  but 
they  are  nearing.  I  announce  them  to  you ;  they  will  ap- 
pear; I  shall  not  see  them;  my  age  forbids  roe  to  hope  it. 
I  am  like  Moses.  I  see  the  promised  land  in  the  distance, 
but  I  shall  not  enter  it."  He  was  already  across  the  Jor- 
dan, and  knew  it  not. 

Frederick  is  constructive,  and  takes  hold  of  his  subject 
with  a  firm,  practical  grasp.  He  seeks  the  way  to  im- 
provement,  and  looks  confidently  into  the  future,  with 
prophetic  visions  that  have  been  most  brilliantly  realized. 


He  lays  great  weight  upon  the  study  of  the  ancient  lan- 
guages and  literature ;  points  out  the  necessity  of  good 
translations  in  lieu  of  feeble  imitations.  The  importance 
of  purifying  and  perfecting  the  German  language  is  espe- 
cially emphasized.  In  consequence  of  the  numerous  and 
deeply-rooted  dialects  in  Germany,  the  establishment  of 
an  academy  to  the  decisions  of  which  absolute  submission 
be  required  seemed  unavoidably  demanded. 

To  Frederick  the  impossibility  of  a  national  literature 
in  an  imperfect  tongue  was  clear.  His  suggestions  for 
rendering  the  language  euphonious,  to  point  out  the  way, 
excite  discussion,  and  rouse  the  talent  and  learning  of  tlie 
land  to  earnest  efforts  in  rendering  possible  and  eventually 
creating  a  German  national  literature,  worthy  of  a  place 
among  the  greatest  of  the  world,  were  of  incalculable 
value  to  writers  that  followed  him. 

But  the  relation  of  Frederick  the  Great  to  German 
literature  was  of  a  far  more  intimate  nature  than  his 
writings  or  his  direct  efforts  in  its  behalf  would  indicate. 
Patronage  and  direct  encouragement  was  not  Frederick's 
affair.  It  was  Voltaire  who  enjoyed  the  hospitality  of 
the  Prussian  Court,  and  what  of  German  literarv  talent 
gathered  there  was  obliged  to  lay  aside  native  barbarism 
and  become  French.  But  Frederick's  influence  was  more 
effective  xind  far-reaching  than  patronage  and  protection; 
it  lay  in  the  inspiration  furnished  by  a  great  personality 
at  the  head  of  affairs.  The  sound  of  vigorous  martial 
preparation  in  Berlin,  armaments  and  marching  troops, 
was  the  signal  that  the  new  period  had  come.  Rossbach 
was  won,  the  French  power  checked,  Europe  astonished, 
every  pulse  was  quickened.  Through  seven  years  the 
career  of  the  hero  was  watched  with  increasing  wonder. 


enthusiasm  and  hope.  Of  a  sadden  the  man  was  there 
who  gave  energy  to  a  century  that  had  slept.  The  time 
had  "contents"  all  at  once;  the  spirit  was  roused,  the 
imagination  kindled,  the  national  consciousness  deepened. 
Every  period  of  great  literary  production  has  been  one  of 
thrilling  activity,  in  which  the  strength,  greatness  and 
heroism  of  the  people  have  found  expression.  This 
element  of  inspiration,  national  pride  and  consciousness 
of  power,  was  furnished  Germany  by  the  life  of  Frederick 
the  Great.  "  He  gave  German  poetry  life  and  substance 
{leh&)i8inhaU)j^ says  Goethe  in  his  Autobiography.  Being 
without  an  heir,  he  having  never  lived  with  the  wife 
provided  him  by  his  father,  Frederick  felt  some  appre- 
hension for  the  welfare  of  his  kingdom  after  his  death. 
One  of  his  last  public  acts,  therefore,  was  to  eflfect  an 
alliance,  or  form  a  league,  as  a  check  against  Austrian 
aggression.  The  estates  joining  were,  Pi-ussia,  Saxony, 
Hanover,  the  Dukes  of  Brunswick,  Mecklenburg,  and 
Deux-Ponts,  the  Landgraves  of  Hesse,  the  Elector  of 
Mentz,  and  several  other  princes.  This  league  proved  of 
no  advantage  to  Germany,  as,  after  Frederick's  death,  the 
princes,  dukes,  etc.,  returned  to  their  hereditary  territorial^' 
claims.  ^ 

Frederick  the  Great  died  on  the  17th  of  August,  1786, 
at  the  age  of  seventy -four,  just  before  the  breaking  out  of 
the  French  Revolution.  He  was  buried  under  the  pulpit 
of  the  Garrison  Church  at  Potsdam.  He  was  called  a 
Free  Thinker,  but  he  proved  to  be  a  Great  Thinker,  and  a 
Greater  Sovereign.  Admiring  Washington,  he  sent  his 
sword  to  the  first  President  of  the  Republic  with  this 
message :  "  From  the  oldest  general  in  the  world  to  the 


Through  Frederick  the  Great's  careful  and  paternal 
management  of  Prussian  affair's,  he  was  enabled  to  leave 
in  the  treasury,  at  his  death,  a  surplus  of  fifty  million  dol- 
lars, an  army  of  two  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  men, 
a  territory  of  ninety-five  thousand  square  miles,  and  an 
intelligent,  industrious  population  of  six  million  souls. 

Frederick  William  II.,  the  nephew  of  Frederick  the 
Great,  was  crowned  King  of  Prussia  in  1786.  After 
his  selection  as  Frederick's  heir,  he  was  treated  by  his 
uncle  somewhat  austerely,  exposed  to  all  the  privations 
and  dangers  of  the  "  Seven  Years'  War,"  and  most 
strictly  disciplined  in  all  the  duties  of  his  expected  office. 
It  is  said  this  prince,  during  the  peaceful  years  of  his 
uncle's  reign,  enjoyed  little  of  life;  but,  if  what  is  told 
is  half  true  of  him,  he  made  ample  amends  for  it  after- 
wards. No  act  of  great  importance  marked  his  rule,  ex- 
cept the  troops  he  furnished  to  aid  in  the  restoration  of 
the  Protestant  party  in  the  Netherlands,  his  coalition  with 
Austria  against  France,  which,  however,  did  not  redound 
greatly  to  the  military  glory  of  Prussia,  and  his  participa- 
tion in  the  second  and  third  dismemberment  of  unfortu- 
nate Poland,  but  he  finished  and  adopted  the  code  of 
laws  prepared  by  Frederick  the  Great.  Dying  in  1797,  he 
was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Frederick  William  III.,  father 
of  the  late  Emperor  of  Germany.  As  the  lives  of  father 
and  son  are  inextricably  interwoven,  for  further  historical 
information  of  the  reign  of  Frederick  William  III.  the 
reader  is  referred  to  the  first  chapter  of  the  following 
biography  of  Emperor  William  I.  of  Germany. 



THE  realization  of  Frederick  the  Great's  fond  dream, 
that  at  no  distant  day  the  German-speaking  people 
in  the  heart  of  Europe  would  be  peaceably  united  under 
HohenzoUern  sway,  seemed  never  more  remote  than  on 
the  22d  day  of  March,  1797,  the  date  of  the  birth  of 
Emperor  William.  Brought  upon  the  stage  of  action 
at  the  age  of  twenty-seven,  and  at  a  period  of  general 
uneasiness  throughout  Europe,  Frederick  William  III. 
(the  Emperor's  father)  in  one  respect  found  himself 
prepared  for  his  elevation.  His  early  acquired  love  of 
order,  discipline,  economy  and  industry  were  qualities  of 
which  the  King  of  Prussia  in  1797,  stood  much  in  need. 
He  set  about  immediately  to  reform  the  Court  of  his 
father,  abrogated  his  unpopular  edicts  against  the  freedom 
of  the  press  and  religious  instruction,  and  began  his  reign 
in  an  earnest  and  exemplary  manner.  His  marriage,  at 
the  age  of  twenty-three,  to  the  most  beautiful  and  accom- 
plished princess  of  Europe,  Louisa  Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 
furnished  the  Germans  with  the  first  instance,  for  many 
years,  of  a  happy  union  in  the  royal  family.  The  fond 
couple  retired  to  a  country  residence  at  Practz  near  the 
river  Hard,  where  they  led  the  livjes  of  modest  country 
people  for  several  years.  Here  was  passed  the  infancy  of 
William  and  his  brothers,  both  father  and  mother  care- 
fully watching  over  their  physical  growth,  as  well  as  men- 
tal advancement.  To  the  young  Queen,  whom  the  old 
King,  her  father-in-law,  called  "the  princess  of  princesses," 



was  ascribed  all  the  noble  and  charming  qualities  idolized 
in  German  womanhood.  She  was  said  to  be  Id/dschon 
(picture  beautiful),  with  a  heart  as  pure  and  tender  as  her 
appearance  was  lovely  and  attractive.  Many  stories  are 
told  of  the  visits  made  by  this  young  couple  to  the  hum- 
ble homes  of  the  peasants  in  the  neighborhood,  of  the 
interest  taken  in  their  aflfairs,  from  which  friendly  con- 
cern originated  the  King's  rustic  title,  ^^Der  Schulze  von 
Practz^^  (the  justice  of  Practz). 

An  incident,  which  greatly  increased  his  popularity 
while  in  Practz,  was  that  in  which  he  severely  reprimanded 
an  oiBcer  of  his  staff  for  conduct  unbecoming  a  gentleman 
and  a  soldier  toward  the  Burger-Stand.  Said  the  King  to 
the  offender :  "It  is  the  people  and  not  the  ruler  that  fur- 
nishes the  means  for  the  maintenance  of  the  army."  This 
sentiment,  so  openly  expressed,  touched  the  hearts  of 
those  who  had  been  accustomed  to  consider  themselves 
"  boasts  of  burden  for  the  support  of  the  state.*'  It  was 
a  just  acknowledgment  of  their  relations  to  society  and 
the  government.  But  this  idyllic  life,however  congenial  to 
the  j^oung  King  and  Queen  was  not  without  its  evil  con- 
sequences to  Prussia.  His  almost  total  isolation  from 
the  world  had  the  effect  of  inci'easing  his  natural  diffi- 
dence. He  was  needed  at  the  seat  of  government. 
Prussia  was  nearing  the  most  critical  period  of  her  politi- 
tical  existence.  The  great  social  upheaval  was  pJready  in 
progress  in  France.  Prussia's  ship  of  state  needed  a  man 
of  sterling  qualities,  a  warrior,  a  statesman  and  a  diplo- 
mat at  its  helm,  and  still  the  King  remained  in  the  bosom 
of  his  family  at  Practz,  his  life  a  prolonged  honeymoon ; 
but  a  glance  at  the  attractive  face  and  a  knowledge  of  the 
winning  character  of  his  young  Queen  doubtless  absolved 


him  from  the  severe  censure  of  his  people.  In  these  few 
years  of  happiness  the  King  lived  his  short  domestic  life. 
While  in  its  enjoyment,  may  he  not  have  had  premoni- 
tions of  its  brevity?  It  was  under  the  watchful  eye  of 
these  conscientious  parents  that  Prince  William  passed 
his  youth.  In  such  a  home  he  received  life's  early  impres- 
sions. It  would  be  natural  to  suppose  that  a  child  thus 
carefully  and  tenderly  nurtured  might  be  in  danger  of  bo- 
coming  a  sentimentalist  or  averse  to  the  duties  that  pre- 
pare men  for  an  active  military  life;  such  was  not  the 
case,  however.  The  home-law  of  the  HohenzoUems, 
"  that  in  time  of  peace  to  prepare  for  war,"  applied  as 
well  to  the  family  as  the  army.  Princesses  of  the  blood 
were  early  handed  over  to  the  royal  drill-master,  who  was 
expected  to  impress  their  plastic  minds  with  that  love  of 
soldierly  order  and  discipline  so  necessary  to  a  country 
whose  soil  had  been,  and  was  upon  the  point  of  again 
being,  the  battle-ground  of  many  a  contending  power  and 
faction.  Accordingly,  the  sons  of  Queen  Louisa  we  find 
at  Potsdam  in  1803,  the  oldest,  Frederick,  eight,  and  Will- 
iam five,  appearing  for  the  first  time  in  the  uniform  of  a 
Hussar  of  the  Guard,  and  at  the  same  time  being  presented 
with  the  medals  earned  from  their  military  instructor. 
The  loving  mother,  however,  to  whom  these  infant  sol- 
diers were  first  presented  arrayed  in  the  trappings  of  war, 
appeared  apprehensive  of  the  danger  of  giving  her  chil- 
dren a  too  strong  military  leaning,  and  later  on  wrote  a 
letter  to  Professor  Heidenreich  of  Leipsic,  clearly  showing 
that  she  had  higher  and  nobler  aspirations  for  the  future 
of  her  sons  than  mere  soldierly  renown. 

"  It  is  my  dearest  and  most  earnest  desire,"  she  said, 
"  to  bring  up  my  children  so  that  they  may  be  humanely 


disposed,  and  I  cherish  the  hope  that  I  shall  not  altogether 
fail  in  my  purpose." 

It  was  evidently  beginning  to  be  perceived  all  over 
Germany,  that  in  order  to  maintain  the  local  indepen- 
dence of  her  small  principalities,  kingdoms  and  states, 
better  armies  must  be  raised  and  better  generals  provided. 
The  best  officers  of  Frederick  the  Great  had  all  grown 
old,  and  besides  were  wedded  to  ancient  systems  of  war- 
fare. Says  Lewis:  "Although  German  hterature  was  at 
its  zenith,  and  Berlin  was  one  of  the  centers  of  its  pro- 
ductiveness, with  its  fashionable  vanity  of  display  came, 
also,  the  vanity  of  social  display.  The  Spartan  spirit  of 
Prussia's  early  days  had  given  way  to  eflfeminacy,  luxury 
and  indifference  to  religious  traditions.  Much  was  done 
to  advance  the  sciences,  arts,  and  the  education  of  the  peo- 
ple, but  the  antiquated  machine  of  the  administration 
remained  much  as  it  had  been  left  by  Frederick  I.  of 
Prussia,  and  his  grandson,  Frederick  the  Great.  The 
whole  army  was  in  the  worst  possible  condition.  With  a 
population  of  about  ten  millions,  Prussia  maintained  an 
army  of  200,000  men,  splendid  to  look  at  and  drilled  in 
the  most  pedantic  and  wearisome  fashion  on  the  field  of 
exercise,  but  without  experience  in  battle,  and  full  of  pride 
founded  on  the  renown  of  Frederick  the  Great's  Seven 
Years'  War.  Whatever  natural  merits  the  officers  had 
were  lost  in  the  habits  of  the  army  in  a  long  peace.  The 
elder  officers  were  generally  rigid  and  formal ;  the  younger 
ones  vain  and  presumptuous ;  nearly  all  were  puffed  up 
with  the  fond  fancy  that  their  army  was  invincible." 
That  this  was  far  from  being  satisfactory  to  the  people 
is  seen  by  the  establishment  of  new  military  schools  and 
in  the  general  expression  of  fear,  that  Germany  would  not 


be  able  to  present  a  strong  bulwark  against  the  advance- 
ment of  the  "modern  Attila  of  France,  General  Bona- 
parte." It  was  the  uitellectual  growth  only  in  Germany, 
that  had  kept  pace  with  the  political  agitation  of  France 
and  the  United  States.  Although  Frederick  William  III. 
was  constituted  to  enjoy  a  peaceful  reign,  his  sympathetic 
and  amiable  disposition  prompting  him  to  a  liberal  and 
enlightened  policy,  yet,  when  the  emergency  appeared, 
it  was  found  he  had  inherited  enough  of  the  old  Hohen- 
zollern  firmness,  perseverance  and  personal  courage,  to 
see  the  needs  of  his  country,  and  eventually  ('tis  true,  after 
experiencing  the  most  desperate  straits,  humiliations  and 
defeats),  to  pilot  her  safely  over  the  breakers  that  threat- 
ened to  wreck  her  ship  of  state. 

Before  the  year  1805  Frederick  William  III.  had  tried 
for  a  long  time  to  form  a  league  of  the  German  princes  in 
order  to  protect  the  neutrality  of  Korth  Germany ;  but, 
through  jealousy  of  Prussia's  political  supremacy,  these 
princes  chose  to  ally  themselves  to  the  cause  of  France. 

This  was  Prussia's  situation  after  the  peace  of  Luneville, 
concluded  1801,  between  the  German  Empire  and  France. 
In  order  to  understand  the  situation  of  Prussia  in  this 
peace,  it  is  necessary  to  review  the  momentous  events  pre- 
ceding the  acceptance  of  this  treaty  by  Prussia. 

From  1794  to  1796  the  leaders  of  the  French  Eepublic 
had  repulsed  and  beaten  the  Austrians,  and  from  a  defen- 
sive position  had  assumed  an  oflfensive  one.  The  ancient 
claim  of  France,  that  all  the  territory  on  the  left  bank  of 
Ehine  belonged  to  them,  was  now  openly  urged.  In 
order  to  secure  these  demands  the  Directory  decided  to 
invade  Germany  at  once,  and  with  an  overwhelming  force. 
The  Generals  Moreau,  Jourdan  and   Bonaparte   were 


charged  with  the  execution  of  this  project,  each  being 
placed  in  command  of  a  formidable  army.  Jourd an  com- 
manded the  left  wing,  covering  Franconia  and  the  coun- 
tries along  the  lower  Rhine ;  Moreau,  the  center,  including 
Baden,  Wiirtemberg  and  Bavaria.  Bonaparte  held  the 
right.  This  "  little  corporal,"  in  less  than  twelve  months, 
had  defeated  the  Austrian s  in  fourteen  battles ;  demolished 
the  small  Duchies  of  Italy,  and  established  upon  their 
ruins  the  Cisalpine  Republic.  He  compelled  Austria  to 
sign  the  peace  of  Campio  Formio,  by  which  was  ceded  the 
Netherlands  to  France,  the  renunciation  of  all  claim  by 
Austria  to  possessions  in  the  north  of  Italy,  and  an  agree- 
ment to  summon  a  congress  of  all  the  German  prmces  at 
Rastadt,  when  the  conditions  of  peace  between  France 
and  Germany  should  be  more  firmly  cemented. 

During  this  time  the  young  Archduke  Charles,  of 
Austria,  had  successfully  resisted  General  Jourdan's  attack, 
defeating  him  at  Neumark  and  Amberg,  and  finally  suc- 
ceeded in  driving  him  back  across  the  Rhine.  General 
Moreau's  left  was  now  exposed  to  the  assaults  of  the  vic- 
torious Austrians,  which  compelled  him,  also,  to  retreat, 
resulting  in  Moreau's  famous  march  through  Swabia  and 
the  mountainous  roads  of  the  Black  Forest.  These 
reverses  of  the  French  arms  notwithstanding,  the  congress 
of  princes  assembled,  as  agreed  upon,  at  Rastadt,  and  here 
was  witnessed  the  betrayal  of  Germany's  interest  by  a 
German  Emperor,  who  entered  into  a  private  understand- 
ing with  the  enemy  to  cede  to  France  the  left  bank  of  the 
Rhine,  as  originall}^  claimed  by  the  Directory. 

The  peace  thus  obtained,  however,  was  of  short  dura- 
tion. At  the  beginning  of  the  year  1799,  Austria  having 
joined  the  coalition  for  the  overthrow  of  the  French 

HIS    BIETH    AND  YOUTH.  225 

Republic,  recalled  her  representatives  at  Eastadt,  and 
France  declared  war  against  her  for  allowing  Russian 
troops  to  pass  over  her  territory.  During  the  campaign 
that  followed,  the  whole  of  Italy,  which  formerly  belonged 
to  Austria,  was  retaken  with  the  aid  of  Russian  troops, 
under  command  of  General  Suwaroflf,  the  Cisalpine 
Republic  throttled,  and  the  old  order  of  things  reestab- 

General  Bonaparte,  who  had  hastily  returned  from 
Egypt,  took  in  the  situation  at  a  glance.  He  promptly 
offered  terras  of  peace  to  the  coalition,  but  Arch-Duke 
Charles'  successes  had  inspired  the  allies  with  hopes  of  the 
speedy  overthrow  of  the  French  Republic,  and  the  reestab- 
lishment  of  the  Bourbon  dynasty. 

Bonaparte's  overtures  were  unceremoniously  rejected. 
This  refusal  and  implied  threat  aroused  the  French,  who 
hurried  en  inasae  to  enlist  under  the  command  of  the  young 
general,  who  declared,  since  a  peace  could  not  be  had  by 
fair  means,  he  must  conquer  one  with  his  means  at  hand. 
Accordingly,  at  the  beginning  of  1800,  a  formidable  army 
had  assembled  at  Dijon  ready  for  action.  Bonaparte's 
first  advance  was  toward  Italy.  Marching  over  the 
Simplon,  St.  Bernard  and  St.  Gothard,  he  made  his  entry 
into  Milan  June  2, 1800,  before  the  Austrian  General 
Melas,  who  was  encamped  on  the  plains  of  Lombardy,  was 
aware  of  his  presence.  On  the  14rth  of  the  same  month 
followed  the  memorable  battle  of  Marengo,  the  bloodiest 
and  fiercest  of  any  that  had  yet  been  fought.  The  day 
appeared  to  be  lost  to  the  French,  when  General  Dessaix, 
one  of  the  bravest  and  oldest  of  the  French  generals, 
arrived  with  a  fresh  corps  de  reserve^  renewed  the  strug- 
gle and,  although  mortaUy  wounded,  achieved  a  brilliant 


victory  for  Bonaparte's  division.  In  the  meantime  Gen- 
eral Moreau  had  been  successful  in  Germany.  In  the 
latter  part  of  April  he  crossed  the  Rhine,  defeated  the 
Austrians  at  Stockach  and  Moskirk,  and  took  possession 
of  the  entire  country  between  the  Rhine,  the  Danube  and 
Lake  Constance.  Entering  the  Bavarian  territory  he 
threatened  Munich,  and  at  Hohenlinden  dealt  another 
severe  blow  to  Austria.  These  battles  of  the  two  French 
generals,  Bonaparte  and  Moreau,  decided  affairs  for  the 
time  being  between  Austria,  Italy  and  France,  but  it  was 
to  the  latter,  Moreau,  that  tho  French  were  indebted  for 
the  favorableness  to  France  of  the  treaty  of  Luneville. 

By  this  treaty  the  ancient  order  of  things  in  Germany 
was  completely  overturned.  The  ecclesiastics  lost  all  their 
possessions,  and  of  the  forty-eight  imperial  independent 
cities  only  Liibeck,  Hamburg,  Bremen,  Frankfort,  Augs- 
burg and  Nuremburg  remained.  Of  the  old  electoral 
princes  but  four  retained  the  semblance  of  their  ancient 
prerogatives, while  the  domains  of  numberless  small  prince- 
lings were  merged  into  the  larger  estates.  Thus,  were  most 
of  the  prerogatives,  which  for  a  thousand  years  had  been 
enjoyed  through  Germany's  acquiescence  in  the  rights 
guaranteed  by  the  "  Golden  Bull,"  swept  away  by  a  stroke 
of  the  pen.  These  compulsory  changes,  ^however,  while 
they  occasioned  many  regrets  and  tears  among  the  Ger- 
mans, who  were  still  attached  to  their  crowned  princelings, 
were  not  witliout  their  beneficial  results,  and  it  is  ques- 
tionable whether,  but  for  the  dexterous  and  expeditious 
I  strides  of  the  "  Corsican  Ogre  "  through  the  heart  of  Ger- 
/  many,  the  German  Empire  of  to-day  would  have  been  a 
possibility.  Germany  would  doubtless  have  acquiesced  in 
the  dethroning  of  her  petty  princes,  but  the  loss  of  twenty- 


four  thoosand  square  miles  of  territory  with  four  million 
inhabitants — the  whole  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  compris- 
ing Alsace  and  Lorraine —  was  a  blow  at  the  very  exist- 
ence of  the  German  nation.  The  German  princes,  however, 
who  had  received  additions  to  their  territory  by  the  treaty 
of  Luneville,  were  Baden,  Wurtemberg  and  Bavaria. 
They,  of  course,  became  ardent  admirers  of  the  French 
"  Ogre,"  because  he  had  shown  himself  their  friend  and 
benefactor.  In  their  servility  they  introduced  the  French 
official  system  in  the  administration  of  their  affairs  of 
state  and,  finally,  culminated  their  submission  to  French 
domination  by  severing  their  connection  with  the  German 
Empire.  As  vassals  of  France,  they  entered  into  a  con- 
federation called  the  Ehinish-bund,  and  agreed  to  furnish 
to  the  French  army  a  contingent  of  so  many  thousand  men 
each.  To  complete  Germany's  humiliation,  the  House  of 
Hapsburg  now  voluntarily  relinquished  the  title  of  Em- 
peror of  Germany — a  title  that  brought  him  a  small  salary 
(|5,000  a  year),  and  but  little  more.  After  this  date,  1806, 
the  Hapsburg  dynast}^  which  had  furnished  Emperors  for 
the  German  Empire  since  the  crowning  of  Rudolph,  1273, 
were  now  satisfied  with  the  title  only  of  Emperors  of 

Germany  was  now  divided  into  three  grand  divisions : 
The  Empire  of  Austria,  the  Kingdom  of  Prussia,  and  the 
Frenchified  Princelings,  called  the  "  Rhine-bund."  Bona- 
parte had  resorted  to  the  old  Caesarian  doctrine,  "  Divide 
and  conquer." 

Southern  Germany  being  safe  and  Austria  isolated, 
Bonaparte  considered  the  time  opportune  for  paying  his 
respects  to  Prussia.  The  vacillating  policy  of  Frederick 
William,  who  had  left  Austria  to  fight  her  battles  alone, 


by  declaring  Prussia  neutral,  was  now  to  reap  its  legit- 
imate result.  At  the  mercy  of  the  now  French  Emperor 
(Napoleon  I.),  Prussia  had  not  a  friend  to  whom  she  could 
turn  for  assistance  in  time  of  need.  Without  the  slightest 
warning,  Napoleon  issued  a  peremptory  order  to  General 
Bernadotte,  who,  with  his  army  corps  was  stationed  in 
Hanover,  to  take  the  shortest  route  for  Ulm.  The  shortest 
route  lay  through  Prussian  territory.  This  march  was 
conducted  with  all  the  destruction  of  an  armed  invasion. 
Frederick  William  could  no  longer  remain  deaf  to  the 
entreaties  of  the  Prussian  war-party  for  an  immediate 
demand  for  reparation  and  the  placing  of  the  army  upon 
a  war  footing.  But  in  the  midst  of  Prussia's  military 
preparations,  and  almost  before  her  ultimatum  to  Napoleon 
had  left  the  capital,  came  the  news  of  the  Russian  and 
Austriani  defeat  at  Austerlitz,  whereupon  Prussia  with- 
drew her  ultimatum,  and  the  King  put  an  end  forthwith 
to  further  military  preparations.  Napoleon  now  retracted 
the  promised  annexation  of  Hanover  to  Prussia,  and 
deprived  her  of  the  province  of  Anspach.  He,  also,  com- 
pelled Frederick  William  to  acknowledge  the  territorial 
acquisitions  of  France  in  Southern  Germany ;  all  this  dis- 
grace and  humiliation  of  the  King  was  accomplished  by 
Napoleon  without  the  firing  of  a  shot. 

So,  it  came  to  pass,  that  a  courageous  and  proud  people, 
over  whom  Frederick  the  Great  had  ruled,  but  a  few  years 
before,  and  who,  under  the  leadership  of  his  master  mind, 
had  not  only  maintained  the  integrity  of  the  Kingdom  of 
Prussia  against  the  combined  armies  of  Europe,  but  had 
materially  added  to  her  territory,  were  brought  to  the 
feet  of  the  French  "  Ogre,"  through  the  halting  policy  of 
one  of  hi3  descendants* 


Frederick  William,  foolishly  hoping  that  his  selfish  and 
unpatriotic  neutrality  would  allow  him  and  Prussia  to 
remain  in  the  full  enjoyment  of  peace,  was  rudely 
awakened  to  a  realizing  sense  of  his  danger  by  Berna- 
dotte's  bold  execution  of  Napoleon's  order.  The  truth 
was  tiiat  Napoleon  had  long  been  aware  of  the  energy, 
bravery  and  patriotism  of  the  Prussians,  and  was 
determined  to  destroy  a  power  which  might  become  the  • 
rallying  point  and  chief  support  of  Germany's  demand  for 
independence.  Napoleon  felt  himself  strong  enough  for 
such  an  undertaking,  well  aware  of  Prussia's  complete 

In  December,  1803,  Frederick  William  had  bound  him- 
self to  peace  and  friendship  with  Napoleon  on  condition 
that  Hanover  should  not  be  disposed  of  without  the  consent 
of  Prussia.  The  pretense  taken  for  arousing  the  King  was 
the  offer  by  Napoleon,  after  the  death  of  Minister  Pitt, 
to  restore  to  England,  his  arch-enemy,  the  Duchy  of  Han- 
over. Frederick  William  now  saw  that  he  could  no  longer 
maintain  his  neutrality.  His  ministers,  led  by  the  patri- 
otic Stein,  pressed  him  to  prepare  for  the  unavoidable. 
The  younger  officers  of  the  army  were  anxious  for  active 
service.  They  even  went  so  far  and  were  so  bold  as  to 
appear  before  the  window  of  the  French  Embassador,  to 
sharpen  their  swords  and  join  in  the  chorus  of  Schiller's 
"  Wallenstein,"  "  Up,  comrades,  up !  to  horse  1  to  horse  I" 

Frederick  William,  knowing  the  folly  of  attempting  to 
meet  Napoleon,  whose  army  was  now  in  Franconia,  pre- 
paring for  a  march  into  Thuringia,  and  which  numbered 
200,000  men,  while  Prussia  had  but  150,000,  hesitated  and 
anxiously  sought  to  fortify  himself  by  alliances.  Saxony 
and   Weimar   at  last  joined  him.      Austria  remained 


neutral,  and  Russia,  had  the  Czar  been  disposed,  was  too  far 
away  to  aid  him.  England  was  at  war  with  Prussia. 
Finally,  urged  on  by  his  ministers  and  indignant  at  the 
treatment  he  had  received,  on  the  1st  of  October,  1806,  he 
addressed  his  ultimatum  to  Napoleon,  which  was  in  effect 
that  he  withdraw  all  his  troops,  not  only  from  the  king- 
dom of  Prussia,  but  from  German  territory  also. 

At  the  outbreak  of  the  disastrous  war  which  thereupon 
followed,  Prince  William  was  just  entering  upon  his  tenth 
year.  There  is  no  doubt  but  that  the  known  relentlessness 
of  the  French  invader  and  his  determination  to  destro}^ 
the  heritage  of  the  HohenzoUern  family,  as  well  as  to  de- 
grade the  German  people  to  a  state  of  vassalage  to  France 
left  an  indelible  impression  upon  his  youthful  mind. 

A  small  picture  has  been  preserved  in  the  royal  resi- 
dence at  Potsdam,  representing  the  two  sons  of  the  King, 
accompanied  by  Professor  Dell brttck,  as  they  watched  the 
departure  of  the  troops  for  the  front,  but  few  of  whom 
ever  returned  to  tell  the  story  of  their  defeat. 

Not  ten  days  after  Napoleon's  receipt  of  Frederick 
"William's  ultimatum,  the  Prussian  army,  under  command 
of  Duke  Charles  of  Brunswick,  then  seventy-two  years 
old,  confidently  marched  to  Weimar.  Half  the  forces  took 
up  a  position  at  Jena.  Napoleon's  army  fell  upon  the 
Prussians  at  Saalfeld,  near  Weimar,  and  defeated  the  old 
Duke,  who  was  slain  in  battle.  Four  days  later  Napoleon 
was  at  Jena.  The  morning  was  foggy,  and  the  Prussians 
could  not  see  the  position  of  the  French  nor  estimate  their 
numbers.  The  French  poured  upon  the  Prussians  from 
both  sides  of  the  plain,  and  a  complete  defeat  of  the  Prus- 
sians under  Prince  Hohenlohe  followed.  They  fled  to 
Weimar  in  the  wildest  confusion. 


Thus,  in  less  than  a  fortnight,  was  Prussia's  militaiy 
power,  which  some  of  the  old  martinets  had  considered 
invincible,  literally  destroyed.  Their  forty  years'  peace 
had  most  effectually  deprived  the  oflBcers  of  the  old  martial 
spirit  so  predominant  in  the  army  of  Frederick  the  Great. 

Ten  days  after  the  battle  of  Jena,  Napoleon  marched 
into  Berlin  at  the  head  of  his  victorious  army,  and  in  less 
than  six  weeks  from  the  commencement  of  hostilities  he 
had  advanced  as  far  as  the  Vistula,  and  made  himself 
master  of  nearly  the  entire  kingdom ;  had  annihilated  an 
army  which  had  hitherto  claimed  and  maintained  its 
character  as  the  most  efficient  in  Europe,  and  was  now  in 
possession  of  the  capital  of  its  King. 

Frederick  William,  forced  to  change  his  residence, 
went  to  Konigsberg,  in  Eastern  Prussia.  A  few  days 
after  the  disastrous  battle  of  Jena,  the  royal  children  were 
transferred  to  Chateau  Schwedt,  where  the  Queen  awaited 

"  You  find  me  in  tears,"  she  said,  "  because  I  weep 
over  the  destruction  of  the  army,  which,  too  true,  has  dis- 
appointed the  King."  Professor  Dellbriick,  in  his  memoirs, 
says,  at  this  meeting,  the  afflicted  Queen  endeavored  to 
impress  upon  her  children  the  duty  which  lay  before  them 
jn  the  following  impressive  language : 

"In  one  day  an  edifice  has  been  destroyed  which  will 
take  great  men  two  centuries  to  rebuild.  Prussia,  its 
army,  and  its  traditional  glory  are  things  of  the  past. 
Ah,  my  children,  you  are  not  yet  of  that  age  when  you 
can  fuUy  comprehend  the  great  calamity  that  has  befallen 
us !  But  after  my  death,  and  when  you  recall  this  unfor- 
tunate hour,  do  not  content  yourselves  with  merely  shed- 
ding tears.    Actl    Unite   your  powers  I    Perhaps   the 


guardian  angel  of  Prussia  will  watch  over  you.  Liberawe 
your  people  from  the  disgrace  and  degradation  they  will 
have  to  endure.  Conquer  France,  and  retrieve  the  gloi-y 
of  your  ancestors  as  your  great-grandfather  did  at  Fehr^ 
bellin,  when  he  defeated  the  Swedes.  Be  men,  and  strive 
to  be  great  generals.  If  you  have  not  that  ambition, 
then  seek  death  as  Prince  Louis  Feixlinand  souglit  and 
found  it." 

Under  this  depressing  state  of  affairs  in  his  father's 
kingdom,  Prince  William,  at  the  age  of  ten,  was  made  an 
officer  in  the  Prussian  army,  after  which  the  royal  family 
were  ordered  to  Memel,  the  far  eastern  frontier  of  the 

The  health  of  the  beautiful  young  Queen  was  now  in 
a  very  precarious  condition.  The  disaster  to  her  husband 
and  her  beloved  country  had  shattered  her  nervous  sys- 
tem. "  But  I  would  rather  die  than  fall  into  the  hands  of 
the  enemy,"  she  declared;  and,  accordingly,  on  the  8d  of 
January,  1807,  in  a  terrible  snow-storm,  she  was  placed  in 
a  carriage.  And  now  began  the  long  and  tedious  journey 
to  a  place  of  safety.  Dr.  Hufland,  the  court  physician 
who  accompanied  her,  says  of  this  eventful  journey : 

"  We  were  three  days  and  three  nights  on  the  road. 
During  the  day  we  forced  our  way  through  the  frozen 
marshes,  and  often  the  waves  of  the  near  ocean  covered 
the  coach  with  its  dashing  spray.  The  nights  were  passed 
in  the  most  miserable  shambles.  The  first  night  the  Queen 
slept  in  a  room,  the  glass  from  two  windows  being  out, 
which  permitted  the  snow  to  sweep  over  her  bed.  Our 
food  was  poor  and  insufficient.  These  hardships,  however, 
seemed  to  strengthen  her  courage.  Her  reliance  upon  a 
providential  God  was  unshaken.    The  change  of  scene 

HIS  BIEl'H   AND  YOUTH.        ,  233 

and  the  bracing  air  seemed  to  have  a  beneficial  effect  upon 
her  health." 

Not  so  with  the  children.  Prince  William,  who  was 
not  suspected  of  having,  in  his  youth,  the  strong  constitu- 
tion he  proved  to  have,  was  attacked  with  a  nervous  fever 
and  came  near  his  death.  To  crown  the  Queen's  melan- 
choly, the  news  reached  her  that  on  June  14  a  decisive 
battle  had  been  fought  at  Friedland,  Eastern  Prussia. 
Her  courage  and  noble  character  is  best  shown  in  the  fol- 
lowing letter  written  to  her  father,  the  Duke  of  Mecklen- 
burg-Strelitz,  three  days  after  this  depressing  news  had 
reached  her : 

"Memel,  June  lY,  1807. 

"  My  Dbakest  Fathbb  :  I  have  perused  your  letter  of 
April  last  with  the  deepest  emotion  and  amid  tears  of 
gratefulness.  How  shall  I  thanlc  you,  dearest,  kindest  of 
fathers,  for  the  many  proofs  you  have  shown  me  of  your 
parental  love,  your  gracious  favor  and  indescribable  benev- 
olence ?  What  consolation  is  not  this  for  me  in  my  suffer- 
ings !  How  strengthening  to  my  hopes !  Thus  beloved, 
to  be  completely  unhappy  is  impossible. 

"  We  are  again  threatened  by  another  dire  calamity, 
and  are  about  to  abandon  the  kingdom.  Imagine  my 
state  of  mind  at  this  juncture ;  but  I  earnestly  beseech 
you  not  to  mistake  the  feelings  of  your  daughter.  There 
are  two  great  principles  upholding  me,  which  elevate  my 
thoughts  and  strengthen  me :  first,  that  we  are  not  led 
blindly  on  by  chance,  but  are  led  by  the  hand  of  God ; 
and  secondly,  that  if  we  must  sink,  we,  at  all  events,  must 
do  so  with  honor.  The  King  has  shown,  and  the  whole 
world  believes  it,  that  he  prefers  honor  to  disgrace.  Prus- 
sia will  never  wear  the  chains  of  slavery.    The  King  could 


not  deviate  a  step  without  becoming  unfaithful  to  his 
character  and  a  traitor  to  his  people.  But  to  the  point : 
By  the  unfortunate  battle  of  Friedland,  Konigsberg  has 
fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  French.  We  are  surrounded 
on  every  side  by  the  enemy ;  and,  as  the  danger  advances, 
I  shall  be  forced  to  fly  with  my  children  from  Memel,  and 
then  endeavor  to  reach  Riga,  trusting  to  Heaven  to  assist 
me  in  that  dreaded  moment  when  I  must  pass  the  frontier 
of  the  Empire.  Truly,  all  my  strength  and  courage  will 
be  required  for  this  effort.  God  must  be  my  hope  and 
confidence ;  for,  according  to  my  firm  persuasion,  we  are 
not  called  upon  to  endure  more  than  we  can  bear. 

"  Once  more,  then,  dear  father,  be  assured  that  we  yield 
only  with  honor ;  and,  respected  as  we  shall  be,  we  can  not 
be  without  friends,  inasmuch  as  we  have  merited  them. 
The  consolation  I  experience  by  this  conviction  I  can  not 
express  to  you ;  and,  consequently,  I  endure  all  my  trials 
with  that  tranquility  and  resignation  of  mind  which  can 
only  be  produced  by  a  good  conscience  and  a  firm  faith. 
Therefore,  my  dear  father,  be  convinced  that  we  can  never 
be  really  unhappy,  while  many,  perhaps,  whose  brows 
are  oppressed  with  the  weight  of  crowns  and  wreaths  are 
as  unhappy  as  ourselves ;  for  as  long  as  we  are  blessed  by 
Heaven  with  peace  within,  we  must  ever  find  cause  to 

"  I  remain,  forever,  your  faithful  and  loving  daughter 
and — God  be  praised  that  your  gracious  favor  permits 
me  to  add — friend,  "  Louisa." 

After  the  decisive  battle  of  Friedland,  referred  to  by 
the  Queen,  which  occurred  on  June  14, 1807,  a  conference 
was  held  June  25th,  between  the  two  Emperors,  Napoleon 
and  Alexander  of  Bussia,  upon  a  raft  on  the  river  Niemen, 

Queen   Loulw. 


at  which  interview  it  was  agreed  to  leave  Prussia  to  her 
fate,  Alexander  acquiescing  in  her  dismemberment  in  con- 
sideration of  Napoleon's  agreement  that  he  take  Finland 
and  divide  Turkey  when  he  should  be  ready. 

In  the  vain  hope  of  inducing  Napoleon  to  modify  liis 
harah  terms,  a  number  of  patriotic  men  prevailed  upon  the 
King  of  Prussia  to  allow  the  Queen  to  make  a  personal 
appeal  to  him.  Consenting  with  great  reluctance,  Louisa 
appeared  before  Napoleon,  at  Tilsit,  on  July  7,  who 
received  her  with  condescension,  but  was  unmoved  by  her 

On  the  9th  of  July,  Frederick  William  III.  signed  the 
Treaty  of  Tilsit,  which  made  him  almost  a  pauper.  He 
was  compelled  to  part  with  nearly  half  his  kingdom  and 
half  his  people — about  five  millions.  The  city  of  Dantzic 
was  declared  a  free  city,  that  part  of  Prussia  between  the 
Elbe  and  the  Rhine  was  converted  into  a  new  kingdom 
called  Westphalia,  and  Napoleon's  youngest  brother, 
Jerome,  made  King.  All  west  of  the  Elbe,  the  cradle  of 
the  Prussian  monarchy,  all  that  territory  acquired  by  his 
father  in  the  partitions  of  Poland,  was  taken  away  from 
Prussia  by  this  treaty.  Napoleon  declaring  that  it  was 
only  out  of  consideration  for  the  wishes  of  his  ally,  Alex- 
ander of  Russia,  that  he  left  Frederick  William  anything. 
By  this  treaty,  what  was  left  of  Prussian  territory  was  to 
be  occupied  by  French  troops  until  $109,500,000  indem- 
nity was  paid  to  France,  a  task  which  was  accomplished 
in  two  years. 

Those  who  suppose  the  sudden  collapse  of  Prussia  to 
be  attributable  to  the  deterioration  and  ineflBlciency  of  her 
army  commit  a  great  mistake.  The  cause  of  her  weak- 
ness lay  much  deeper.    With  the  introduction  of  French 

238  fiMPEtiOlt   WtLLlAH   t. 

literature  was  introduced  tlie  French  standard  of  morals. 
The  higher  circles  spoke  French,  dressed  French,  read 
French,  and  lived  French  lives.  "We  wish,"  writes  a 
celebrated  man  at  this  time,  "  to  protect  our  towns  and 
territory  from  the  attacks  of  the  French ;  but  ourselves 
and  our  minds  have  been  long  captive  to  France.  Look  at 
our  manners,  language  and  dress !  We  have  become,  so 
to  speak,  French  inside  and  out,  and  yet  we  consider  them 
our  enemies.  No  man  of  sense  will  dispute  the  fact  that 
when  a  people  are  thus  enslaved,  few  will  be  found  to 
stand  up  zealously  for  the  defense  of  faith  and  fatherland." 
The  great  liberal  divine,  SQhleiermacher,  wrote  to  a  friend, 
"  The  universal  dissipation  one  sees  on  all  sides  is  frightful 
to  behold,  and  the  depth  of  biiseness  and  cowardice  to 
which  the  people  have  sunk  is  only  relieved  by  a  few  indi- 
viduals, the  King  and  Queen  forming  striking  exceptions." 

"Napoleon,"  says  Alexander  Japp,  "had  made  the 
French  a  nation  of  fatalists,  and  not  only  the  French  but 
Germany  too.  Tasting  the  poison  she,  too,  staggered  like 
a  drunken  man."  It  was,  then,  easy  to  follow  with  French 
arms  where  French  ideas  had  been  received  with  so  kindl}*^ 
a  welcome. 

Impressed  with  this  degeneracy,  the  first  minds  of 
Germany  began  to  write,  speak  and  act.  The\'  were  called 
the  "  Romancists."  The  most  conspicuous  were  Schiller, 
who  died  in  1806 ;  the  brothers  Boisser6e,  the  brothers 
Schlegel,  Tieck,  Hardenberg  (Novalis),  Von  Kleist,  and 
Von  Arnim  —  a  class  of  writers,  not  without  morbidness  in 
their  natures,  but  distinguished  as  interpreters  of  the 
impulses  which  moved  men  to  noble  deeds  in  mediaeval 


Accordingly,  after  the  battle  of  Jena,  the  learned 


philosopher  Fichte  asked  permission  to  join  the  army  with 
his  students  and  to  strengthen  the  patriotic  ardor  of  the 
troops  by  frequent  exhortations.  Scharnhorst  asserted 
that  battles  could  no  longer  be  won  by  the  military  arm 
alone ;  love  of  the  citizen  for  country  and  freedom  must 
be  warmed  into  life;  the  moral  principle  of  the  soldier 
must  be  stimulated  by  making  him  a  patriot  instead  of 
a  mercenary  and  extinguishing  his  self-respect  by  degrad- 
ing punishment. 

Thus,  from  the  day  of  the  Treaty  of  Tilsit,  Prussia 
seemed  to  be  slowly  realizing  that  a  people  with  a  past  so 
glorious,  a  land  so  precious,  and  a  patriotic  King  so  humil- 
iated, called  for  heroic  action  rather  than  time  spent  in 
useless  regrets.  "  We  have  lost  battles,  have  been  robbed 
of  our  territory  and  treated  with  less  consideration  than 
the  smallest  power  in  Europe,"  said  one  of  these  conquered 
but  not  subdued  Prussians,  "and  if  we  but  acknowledge 
our  own  errors  and  faults,  and  finally  resolve  to  mend  our 
ways,  all  hope  in  a  better  future  is  not  lost." 

As  there  are  supreme  moments  in  the  lives  of  nations 
as  well  as  individuals,  when  a  resolve  to  do.  then  and 
there  what  the  inmost  impulse  of  the  heart  declares  to  be 
fair  and  right,  Prussia  had  reached  that  moment  when, 
through  Baron  Stein,  in  1808,  she  resolved  to  prepare  her 
State  for  a  Constitutional  monarchy.  The  State  could  only 
be  rescued  by  beginning  to  rebuild  from  the  foundation. 
The  peasantry,  who  were  still  the  serfs  of  landlords,  must 
be  freed  from  bondage,  and  other  exactions  which  op- 
pressed thenx  must  be  removed.  He  should  no  longer  be 
considered  a  part  of  the  land,  *•  but  could  choose  his  own 
employment  and  look  forward  to  the  possession  of  apiece 
of  land  for  himself."    The  city  people,  too,  were  to  be 


released  of  guilds,  severe  police  regulations  removed,  and 
the  burden  of  supporting  superannuated  civil  servants  and 
invalid  soldiers  lessened;  to  the  cities  local  government 
was  to  be  restored,  the  delegates  to  be  chosen  from  the 
citizens,  the  magistrates  from  the  delegates,  the  burgo- 
master alone  to  be  named  out  of  three  candidates  pro- 
posed by  the  city ;  the  freedom  of  the  trades  must  super- 
sede the  tyranny  of  the  guilds;  in  the  country  free  mar- 
kets were  to  be  allowed  and  the  exclusive  privilege  of  par- 
ticular mills  to  be  abolished ;  any  tradesman  with  sufH. 
cient  money  could  buy  a  baronial  estate,  and  any  nobleman 
was  to  be  at  liberty  to  trade;  a  share  in  the  affairs  of 
State  were  to  be  offered  to  the  people.  This  was  the 
moral  revolution  Stein  was  to  inaugurate  forthwith.  It 
was  in  this  frame  of  mind  that  the  patriots  of  Prussia  re- 
ceived the  news  of  Napoleon's  rejection  of  the  request 
of  the  Queen,  The  King  now  rose  to  the  grandeur  of 
the  occasion  and,  fortune  aiding  him  with  wise  advisers, 
the  work  mapped  out  was  earnestly  begun. 

Napoleon  was  now  in  his  greatest  ascendency  in 
Europe.  All  the  German  States,  except  Prussia  and  Aus- 
tria, had  joined  the  Rhine  League.  Prussia  had  been  so 
completely  crushed  that  she  was  not  even  invited  to  join 
the  Ehine  League,  had  she  been  so  disposed.  In  fact  all  of 
Europe  except  Great  Britain  was  subject  to  the  two  great 
powers,  France  and  Eussia. 

But  it  must  be  said  of  this  military  system,  which  had 
silenced  iall  opposition  and  played  with  the  crowns  and 
crownlets  of  Europe,  that  it  was  not  without  its  civilizing 
features.  The  Code  Napoleon^  with  its  recognition  of 
the  rights  of  the  humblest  citizen,  the  jury  system,  and 
other  reforms  calculated  to  benefit  the  masses,  were  intro- 


KSnigin  Euife  mil  iljcen  beibeti  fllteften  Sol^nen.    (anno  n97-) 
Queen  Louise  nith  her  two  eoas  In  1707. 


duced  during  this  period  into  the  States  of  the  Rhine  • 
League ;  and  although  Napoleon's  nepotism  and  unrelent-  i 
ing  exactions  of  money  and  men  robbed  these  Germans  to  . 
an  exasperating  degree,  upon  the  whole  the  condition  of  j 
the  peasantry  was  greatly  improved  and  his  sovereignty  I 
for  a  time  was  not  felt  to  bo  so  great  a  misfortune  by  the  j 
people  of  many  of  these  States.  ^ 

But  unlimited  imperial  sway,  the  same  as  undue  per- 
sonal power,  generally  prepares  the  way  for  its  own  destruc- 
tion. The  arbitrary  and  heartless  conduct  of  the  French 
police  and  spies  gradually  caused  a  reaction  in  those  who, 
at  first,  had  been  dazzled  by  the  new  order  of  things. 

The  wanton  murder  of  John  Palm,  for  the  publication 
in  Leipsic  of  a  pamphlet  entitled  "  Germany  in  her  Deep 
Humiliation,"  created  a  feeling  of  intense  resentment 
against  the  foreign  governments  established  in  Germany 
by  Napoleon. 

Baron  von  Stein,  who  was  now  Premier  of  Prussia, 
was  ordered  to  proceed  at  once  with  his  plans  of  internal 
reforms.  With  fervor  and  an  iron  will,  he  began  his 
work.  He  commenced  by  limiting  the  power  of  the  sov- 
ereign, which  had  heretofore  been  almost  absolute,  and 
increasing  the  liberty  of  the  people.  In  fact,  the  whole 
list  of  reforms  mentioned  before  were  about  to  be  carried 
into  effect,  when  the  liberalizing  tendency  of  his  adminis- 
tration and  the  almost  instantaneous  effect  of  his  course 
upon  the  prosperity  of  Prussia,  as  well  as  upon  the  martial 
spirit  of  the  people,  were  observed  by  Napoleon.  Conse- 
quently, upon  the  pretext  that  Stein  had  spoken  disrespect- 
fully of  him,  in  November,  1808,  Napoleon  issued  a  pronun- 
ciamento  "  against  a  man  by  the  name  of  Stein,"  upon 
which,  being  warned  by  the  embassador  at  Paris,  Prussia's 


prime  minister  was  forced  to  flee  the  country,  and  the  King 
to  confiscate  his  estates.  Baron  von  Hardenborg  succeeded 
Stein,  and  carried  out  the  pohcy  inaugurated  by  hira.  Von 
Scharnhorst,  Secretary  of  War,  ably  assisted  the  new 
premier,  adopting  the  principle  that  true  merit,  and  not 
the  accident  of  birth,  must  secure  promotion  in  the  army. 
He  abolished  the  enlistment  of  foreigners,  by  which  a 
national  sentiment  of  pride  was  stimulated,  and  also 
insisted  tliat  in  every  organized  society  its  able-bodied 
members  should  be  its  defenders — the  origin  of  the  present 
military  system  known  as  Landwehr.  As  a  natural  con- 
sequence, these  political  and  military  reforms  gave  a  pow- 
erful impetus  to  the  spread  of  nationalism.  The  much- 
lauded  efforts  of  the  men  at  the  helm  were  soon  seconded 
by  the  efforts  of  pen  and  song,  and  authors  followed  these 
statesmen  and  soldiers,  with  electrifying  effect. 

One  of  the  most  appreciated  of  these  was  the  patriot 
divine,  Schleiermacher,  who  wrote :  "  We  appreciate  the 
culture  of  all  nations,  and  would  engraft  in  ourselves  the 
flowers  of  every  human  mind.  Egotism  and  national 
vanity  are  the  two  great  enemies  of  progress.  The  noblest 
nations  have  been  the  most  tolerant  and  the  basest  the 
most  conceited." 

Other  authors,  besides  those  heretofore  mentioned,  who 
wrote  and  worked  were  Ilerder,  Humboldt,  Klopstock,  Les- 
sing,  Winkelmann,  Kant,  Weiland,  Schelling,  Hegel,  and 
Goethe,  who  died  as  late  as  1832.  Their  writings  were 
suited  to  all  grades  of  mind,  from  politician,  poet,  philos- 
opher, scholar  and  scientist,  down  to  the  awakening  peas- 
antry and  laborer.  But  Schleiermacher  seems  to  have 
been  the  most  honored  divine  and  ethical  instructor  of  the 


Through  his  preaching,  the  individual  conscience  was  ^ 
awakened  to  a  sense  of  duty.  Honor  and  self-purification 
he  held  to  be  necessary  to  the  substantial  re-establish- 
ment of  the  Prussian  nation.  The  sermons  he  preached 
produced  a  lasting  effect  upon  the  youthful  mind  of  Prince 
William.  His  confession  of  faith,  written  by  himself,  on 
the  occasion  of  his  confirmation,  which  is  in  harmony  with 
the  honored  divine's  teachings,  are  proofs  of  the  truth  of 
this  statement,  although  Schleiermacher  is  claimed  as 
the  founder  of  Unitarianism. 

The  continued  occupation  of  the  Prussian  capital  by 
the  French  necessitated  the  prolonged  sojourn  of  the 
royal  family  at  Memel.  It  was  at  this  out-of-the-way 
residence  that  Prince  William,  December  25,  1809,  re- 
ceived his  appointment  as  Second  Lieutenant,  and  where, 
under  the  care  of  Herr  Zellers,  one  of  Pestalozzi's  pupils, 
and  Professor  Neiman,  the  foundation  of  his  education 
was  laid.  Under  the  guidance  of  these  excellent  men,  the 
princes  studied  ancient  and  modem  history,  and  among 
others,  "The  History  of  Brandenburg,"  written  by  his  an- 
cestor, Frederick  the  Great,  as  well  his  history  of  "  The 
Seven  Years'  War,"  and  Schiller's  "  Thirty  Years'  War." 
At  an  early  age,  Prince  William  developed  a  strong  mili- 
tary leaning,  while  his  elder  brother  was  attracted  to 
other  and  more  classical  branches  of  learning.  The  prog- 
ress of  Prince  William  in  military  tactics  was  so  rapid 
that  in  less  than  two  years  after  his  appointment  to  office, 
he  had  mastered  all  the  details  of  the  Prussian  infantry 
drill.  In  the  winter  of  1809,  the  King  and  Queen  returned 
to  Berlin.  Among  the  troops  composing  the  escort  rode 
the  young  prince,  then  about  twelve  years  old.  The 
roysd  exiles  were  welcomed  by  the  people  with  enthusi- 


astio  demonstrations  of  joy.  In  passing  under  the  famous 
Brandenburg  Gate,  the  King  was  deeply  affected  at  behold- 
ing the  vandalism  of  Napoleon,  who  had  taken  the  bronze 
horses  attached  to  a  triumphal  car  and  carried  the  trophy 
to  Paris. 

Upon  her  return  to  Berlin,  it  was  known  Queen  Louisa 
was  fatally  ill.  The  weight  of  her  troubles  had  sunk  deep 
into  her  young  heart.  The  few  terrible  years  of  the  King's 
reign  had  apparently  undermined  her  health.  The  royal 
family  were  in  deep  affiotion,  and  under  this  last  visita- 
tion, family,  as  well  as  the  people,  grew  earnest  and 
serious.  In  writing  to  her  father.  Queen  Louisa^  whose 
heart  was  bound  up  in  her  children,  said : 

"  Our  son  William  will  turn  out,  unless  I  am  greatly 
mistaken,  the  same  as  his  father ;  honest  and  intelligent. 
He  resembles  him  most  of  all,  but  will  not  be  as  hand- 
some.   You  see,  I  am  still  in  love  with  my  husband." 

In  a  letter  about  this  time  sent  to  the  king,  she  expresses 
a  wish  to  once  more  visit  her  father,  in  Mecklenburg-Stre- 
litz.  This  wish  was  granted,  and  on  the  25th  of  June, 
1810,  she  set  out  for  the  home  of  her  childhood's  days. 
There  the  King  joined  her.  Overjoj^ed  at  the  marks  of 
affection  everywhere  bestowed  upon  her,  she  wrote  upon 
a  small  piece  of  paper,  which  is  still  preserved  : 

"  My  Deae  Father  :  I  am  very  happy  to-day  in  being 
your  daughter  and  the  wife  of  the  best  of  men. 

''New  Strditz,  June  28, 1810.  LomsA." 

Iler  health,  however,  failed  day  by  day,  until  her  con- 
dition becoming  alarming,  by  the  advice  of  her  physician, 
she  and  her  children  were  removed  to  Hohenzieritz.  Her 
symptoms  there  soon  showing  her  near  approach  to  disso- 
lution, the  King  was  informed,  when  he  immediately  set 


out  for  her  bedside.  Surrounded  by  her  family,  who 
received  into  their  sorrowing  hearts  her  gentle  admoni- 
tions and  listened  to  her  steadfast  hopes  of  better  days 
for  those  she  was  forced  to  leave  behind,  the  young  Queen 
and  mother  passed  away  the  1 9th  of  July,  1810,  mourned 
b}'  all  Germany. 

With  a  woman's  keen  perception,  the  Queen  saw  that 
Napoleon's  supremacy  in  Germany  could  not  be  of  long 
duration.  In  a  letter  written  to  her  father  shortly  before 
her  death,  she  prophetically  said : 

"  I  do  not  believe  that  the  Emperor  Napoleon  Bona- 
parte is  firm  and  secure  on  his  throne,  brilliant  as  it  is  at 
this  moment.  Truth  and  justice  alone  stand  firm  and 
secure ;  yet  he  is  only  politic,  that  is  to  say,  wordly-wise ; 
not  acting  in  obedience  to  eternal  laws,  but  according  to 
circumstances  such  as  he  finds  them.  Besides  this,  he 
sullies  his  rule  with  many  acts  of  injustice.  He  does  not 
mean  honestly  to  the  good  cause  and  to  mankind.  In  his 
unbounded  ambition  he  cares  only  for  self,  and  for  his 
own  personal  interest.  At  the  same  time,  he  knows  no 
moderation  in  anything;  and  he  who  is  not  able  to 
restrain  himself  must  lose  his  balance  and  fall.  I  firmly 
believe  in  a  God,  and  consequently  in  a  moral  order  of 
the  world,  which  I  do  not  see  realized  in  an  ascendancy  of 
brute  force.  I  therefore  hope  that  the  present  evil  times 
will  be  followed  by  better  ones.  It  is  quite  evident  that 
all  that  has  been  done,  and  is  doing,  is  not  to  be  perman- 
ent, nor  to  be  considered  as  the  best  state  of  things,  but  a 
state  of  transition  to  a  happier  goal.  This  goal,  however, 
seems  to  lie  far  off ;  w^e  shall  probably  not  see  it  reached, 
but  die  in  the  meanwhile.     God's  will  be  done !  " 

Scarcely  had  the  loved  Queen  been  laid  in  her  grave 


ere  the  whole  of  Northwestern  Germany  was  annexed  to 
France.  The  explanation  given  was  that  "  this  union 
was  dictated  by  the  forc«  of  circumstances,  which  circum- 
stances were  that  these  provinces  still  continued  to  trade 
with  England.  Frankfort  was  also  annexed  to  France, 
under  the  plea  that  "  this  city,  founded  by  Napoleon's  pre- 
decessor, Charlemagne^  must  no  longer  be  kept  from  its 
natural  union  with  France."  But  the  "continental  sys- 
tem" of  Napoleon,  which  was,  in  effect,  a  commercial 
war  upon  England,  began  to  produce  its  natural  results. 
Contraband  tradesmen  sprung  up  everywhere  on  the  fron- 
tier, and  many  branches  of  trade  were  entirely  ruined. 
France  herself  was  getting  tired  of  supplying  armies  to 
be  destroyed,  but,  nevertheless,  Napoleon  seemed  at  the 
summit  of  his  power  and  fame.  On  March  20,  1811,  the 
son  and  heir  he  had  long  wished  for  was  born,  and  imme- 
diately received  the  title  of  "  King  of  Rome." 

Had  the  Emperor  become  drunk  with  glory?  So  it 
appeared  to  those  who  first  heard  he  was  about  to  declare 
war  upon  his  old  ally,  Alexander  of  Russia.  By  some 
means  the  Czar  had  discovered  Napoleon  would  never 
allow  him  to  take  Constantinople,  and  that  he  must  be 
satisfied  with  the  acquisition  of  Finland.  He  was  also 
offended,  it  was  said,  that  Napoleon  had  slighted  his  sister, 
for  whose  hand  the  Emperor  had  sued,  but,  without  wait- 
ing for  an  answer,  had  married  the  Austrian  Archduchess, 
Maria  Louisa.  Others  who  had  stood  by  Napoleon  were 
beginning  to  feel  the  heaviness  of  his  hand.  General 
Bernadotte,  who  had  been  adopted  as  the  heir  of  the 
crown  of  Sweden  by  Charles  XIII.  (and  whom  Napoleon 
claimed  to  have  made),  saw  that  his  country  would  be 
ruined  without  commercial  intercourse  with  England. 


Austria,  which  looked  with  fear  upon  Russia's  domination 
in  Europe,  was  inclined  to  France ;  also,  because  Napoleon 
was  now  the  emperor's  son-in-law.  But  Prussia,  after  try- 
ing in  vain  to  form  an  alliance  with  Eussia,  sought  to 
avoid  a  rupture  with  either  side.  But  this  was  not  to  be 
tolerated  by  Napoleon.  A  net- work  of  troops  was  drawn 
around  her  from  Dantzic  to  Hamburg,  and  finally  the 
command  was  given,  "  that  Prussia  must  furnish  an  aux- 
iliary army  to  the  French  against  Russia,  of  20,000  men ; 
must  permit  the  transit  of  the  French  army  across  Prussian 
territory  and  support  it  on  its  way,  and  restore  some  of 
her  fortresses ;  for  which  Prussia  was  to  receive  Livonia, 
Esthonia  and  Courland,  when  these  provinces  should  be 
conquered  from  Russia.  There  was  no  escape  and  Prus- 
sia agreed ;  but  so  great  was  the  dissatisfaction  of  the 
army  that  more  than  three  hundred  Prussian  officers  left 
the  service  and  enlisted  on  the  side  of  Russia.  ^'In  the 
spring  of  1812,  vast  masses  of  troops — the  largest  armies 
seen  in  Europe  since  the  united  tribes  of  Attila  moved  on 
towards  the  plains  of  Mame  —  now  moved  through  Ger- 
many towards  Russia."  Allies  and  all  formed  an  invad- 
ing force  of  600,000  men.  As  they  advanced  "  the  Russians 
retreated  to  their  inhospitable  wastes,"  avoiding  a  battle 
and  drawing  their  enemies  after  them.  The  troops  suf- 
fered fearfully  from  disease  and  lack  of  food.  The  battle 
of  Barodina,  fought  September  7,  was  not  decisive,  though 
one  of  the  most  hotly  contested  known  in  history,  each 
army  losing  nearly  50,000  men. 

Napoleon  entered  Moscow  September  14,  1812.  He 
hoped  to  secure  an  early  peace.  Instead,  the  Russians,  at 
the  instigation  of  Baron  Stein,  it  is  said,  burned  their 
ancient  capital,  the  Emperor  Alexander  refusing  to  receive 


Napoleon's  messengers.  In  the  middle  of  October  began 
that  terrible  retreat  with  but  a  few  hundred  thousand  men 
of  Napoleon's  six  hundred  thousand  army  entering  Eussia. 
A  great  snow  storm  overtaking  them  on  the  6th  of  No- 
vember, it  is  said,  but  thirty  thousand  succeeded  in  cross- 
ing the  frontier.  Napoleon,  disguised  in  furs,  left  his 
army  on  December  4th,  and  traveled  through  Germany  to 
France  with  all  possible  speed. 

The  Prussians  fought  half-heartedly  as  French  allies, 
and,  it  is  claimed,  their  General  York  was  m  friendly 
communication  with  the  Russians  the  whole  time.  Be 
this  as  it  may,  York  kept  the  Prussians  away  from  the 
French,  and  upon  the  order  to  retreat  allowed  his  division 
to  be  cut  oflf  by  the  Eussians.  York  expected  to  be  court- 
martialed,  and  wrote  the  King  to  this  eflfect :  "  I  lay  my 
head  cheerfully  at  your  majesty's  feet,  if  I  have  erred ; 
and  assure  your  majesty  that  I  shall  await  the  ball  on  the 
hillock  as  calmly  as  on  the  battle-field  where  I  have  grown 
gray,"  and  adding,  "  Now  or  never  is  the  moment  to 
embrace  freedom,  independence  and  greatness.  In  3'^our 
majesty's  decision  lies  the  fate  of  the  world/' 

The  Eussians  as  enemies  ostensibly,  as  friends  in 
reality,  followed  the  Prussians  across  the  frontier  and 
occupied  Konigsberg,  the  patriot  Stein  following  close 
upon  their  rear. 

Napoleon  demanded  York's  removal,  but  the  Eussians 
would  not  let  the  aide  with  the  order  pass. 

Klois,  York  and  Stein,  xmauthorized  by  the  King, 
began,  in  February,  1813,  to  organize  n  militia  in  East 
Prussia.  The  King  considered  himself  still  bound  by  his 
treaty  with  France,  but  he  was  borne  along  with  the  irre- 
sistible spirit  of  freedom   pervading  the  hearts  of  his 


people.  He  would  not  have  been  able  to  resist  it,  however 
disposed.  Accordingly,  on  March  17,  1813,  Frederick 
William  III.  and  the  Emperor  of  Eussia  met  at  Breslau, 
and  entered  into  an  alliance.  The  King  issued  a  call  two 
days  later,  addressed  "  To  My  People ! "  in  the  following 
patriotic  language: 

"  My  faithful  people,  as  well  as  all  Germans,  need  no 
explanation  of  the  causes  of  the  war  which  now  begins. 
They  are  known  to  all  Europe.  Men  of  Brandenburg, 
Prussia,  Silesia,  Pomerania,  and  Lithuania,  you  know 
what  you  have  endured  for  the  last  seven  years  1  You 
know  what  will  be  your  doom  if  this  war  does  not  end  in 
our  success !  Remember  your  past ;  remember  the  Great 
Elector  and  the  Gi'eat  Frederick !  Even  small  nations  have 
fought  with  great  powers,  and  won  success  in  a  cause  like 
ours.  Remember  the  Swiss  and  Netherlanders !  This  is 
the  last  and  decisive  struggle  which  we  can  make  for  our 
existence  and  independence !  There  is  no  escape :  an  hon- 
orable peace  or  a  glorious  death  awaits  us.  Even  the  last 
we  must  meet  for  honor's  sake,  since  neither  the  Prussian 
nor  the  German  would  survive  dishonor.  But  we  have  a 
right  to  be  confident.  To  our  righteous  cause  God  will 
give  the  victory ! " 

Frederick  William  III.  being  the  first  King  who  had 
ever  thrown  himself  upon  the  confidence  of  his  subjects, 
his  earnest  and  manly  appeal  was  responded  to  with  the 
wildest  enthusiasm.  A  popular  uprising  took  place  in 
Prussia  such  as  had  never  before  been  witnessed.  Old  and 
young,  rich  and  poor,  nobleman  and  peasant,  all  vied  with 
each  other  in  sacrifices  to  be  made  for  the  re-possession  of 
a  common  country.  Such  was  the  dan  at  this  time,  that 
in  less  than  a  month,  two  hundred  and  seventy-one  thou- 

254  KicpEKoB  William  I. 

sand  armed  men,  out  of  a  population  of  not  more  than 
five  million,  were  ready  to  take  the  field  for  independence. 

The  young  Prince  William,  now  sixteen  years  old,  was 
anxious  to  take  part  in  the  great  campaign  for  his  country's 
deliverance.  His  father,  however,  fearing  the  conse- 
quences at  his  age  and  the  state  of  his  health,  which  was 
delicate,  refused  to  grant  his  request.  As  a  comi>ensation 
for  the  denial,  he  was  appointed  First  Lieutenant  of  his 
;*egiment;  but  this  empty  distinction  did  not  satisfy  the 
proud-spirrited  bo3\ 

"  How  can  I,  with  honor,  accept  this  promotion,"  said 
he,  with  deep  disappointment,  "  if  I  must  sit  at  home  be- 
hind the  stove  while  my  regiment  is  before  the  fire  of  the 
enemy  ? "  "  Do  not  repine,"  replied  his  father ;  "you  will 
lose  nothing  by  obeying  my  orders." 

The  result  of  the  campaign  of  1813  against  France,  in 
which  Prussia  was  joined  by  Kussia,  and  which  at  the 
outset  promised  so  much,  came  very  near  being  a  failure 
through  the  petty  jealousies,  cowardice,  and  incompetency 
of  the  Russian  commanders,  and  doubtless  would  have 
resulted  in  utter  defeat  but  for  the  efficiency  of  the  Prus- 
sian officers,  BlUcher,  Gneisenau  and  Scharnhorst.  After 
the  reduction  of  his  "grand  army  of  six  hundred  thou- 
sand men"  in  the  snows  of  Kussia,  Napoleon  at  once 
ordered  a  new  levy,  and,  to  the  infinite  astonishment  of 
his  adversaries,  succeeded  in  re-entering  the  field  with 
four  hundred  thousand  fresh  troops.  With  one  will  tho 
people  of  Prussia,  in  fact  the  whole  of  North  Gterman}", 
arose  to  meet  his  advancing  forces.  The  father  of  tho 
dead  Queen  Louisa,  the  Duke  of  Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 
was  the  first  to  come  forward  with  offers  of  men  and 
means  to  the  King  of  Prussia. 


In  this  offer  he  declared  with  emphasis,  "With  the 
help  of  God,  I  will  at  all  events  show  myself  worthy  of 
the  honor  of  being  a  German  prince,"  and  his  contingency 
of  troops  did  show  their  ruler's  worthiness,  for  a  corps  of 
Mecklenburg-Sti'elitz  infantry,  mainly  composed  of  young 
recruits,  upon  meeting  a  corps  of  French  veterans,  under 
command  of  Viceroy  Eugene,  at  Mockem,  on  their  way 
to  Herlin,  after  the  first  fire,  did  not  attempt  to  reload, 
but  fell  upon  their  hated  enemy  with  clubbed  muskets. 

The  battles  of  Lutzen,  Gross-Groschen  and  Bautzen 
resulted  in  French  victories,  but  Nai>oleon  was  daily 
growing  weaker.  The  campaign  had  been  v/ell  begun  by  the 
French,  but  they  had  lost  heavily  in  men,  and  could  not 
retain  what  they  had  won.  Blttcher  and  Gneisenau  were 
confident  that  another  battle  would  give  them  the  victory. 
Napoleon  sought  an  armistice.  He  tried  to  gain  over 
Alexander,  as  at  Tilsit,  with  tempting  ])romiscs;  but 
Alexander  this  time  refused  his  offers.  The  French  army 
was  at  Breslau  when  Napoleon  secured  an  armistice  for 
seven  weeks,  which  was  extended  two  weeks  longer. 

The  Prussians  feared  that  this  truce  would  lead  to  a 
suspension  of  hostilities.  They  hurried  forward  supplies. 
The  militia  were  called  from  the  distant  provinces  to  rein- 
force the  regiments  of  the  line.  Many  Russian  troops 
came  to  the  front.  Napoleon's  army  numbered,  after 
more  recruiting,  350,000  men.  But  during  the  armistice 
both  Prussia  and  France  had  endeavored  to  add  to  their 
strength  through  more  powerful  alliances.  Prussia  had 
been  most  successful.  Austria,  from  Prussia's  former  in- 
difference as  to  her  fate,  stood  dallying  with  both  oppos- 
ing powers  for  weeks,  presumably  to  make  the  best  terms 
possible  for  hei'self.      She  held  the  balance  of  power 


for  the  time  being.  Finally,  a  congress  was  held  at 
Prague  for  Napoleon  to  decide  whether  he  would  accept 
Austria's  mediation.  The  decision  was  awaited  by  the 
allies  with  intense  anxiety.  It  is  thus  described  by  one  of 
our  historians :  "  On  the  night  of  August  10th,  the  Czar 
and  Prussian  King  watched  in  a  barn  at  Trachenberg  for 
the  rocket  that  was  to  signal  Napoleon's  refusal  to  accept 
Austria's  terras.  It  was  after  midnight  when  the  rockets 
shot  up  into  the  clear  sky.  When  seen,  the  whole  Silesian 
army,  which  had  been  under  York,  broke  out  into  the 
wildest  expressions  of  joy ;  friends  embracing  with  tears, 
groups  of  soldiers  shouting,  and  salvos  of  artillery  rolling 
away  among  the  hills.  On  the  12th,  two  days  after,  Aus- 
tria declared  war  against  France." 

Every  power  entering  the  coalition,  except  Prussia^ 
demanded  some  profit  for  themselves.  England,  Sweden, 
Russia  and  Austria  were  all  to  be  well  paid,  by  slices  of 
territory.  Prussia  asked  for  existence  only.  The  allied 
force  amounted  to  about  630,000  men,  while  Napoleon 
could  bring  together  but  about  450,000.  Although  fight- 
ing began  as  early  as  the  middle  of  August,  the  decisive 
,]3attle,  known  in  Germany  as  the  "  Volker-schlacht " 
(Battle  of  Nations),  was  fought  at  Leipsic  the  16th,  17th 
and  18th  of  October,  1813.  In  the  height  of  the  battle  the 
bridge  of  Lindenau,  the  only  outlet  of  retreat  for  French 
troops  was  prematurely  blown  up — a  most  barbarous 
act,  by  which  thousands  of  flying  troops  lost  their  lives. 
The  scepter  of  Napoleon's  power  was  here  broken. 

The  members  of  the  Ehinish  League,  who  were  now 
convinced  of  Napoleon's  downfall,  hastened  into  the  arms 
of  the  allies.  The  Prussian  troops  had  covered  themselves 
with  glory,  while  their  generals,  especially  BlUcher  and 



Gneisenau  (Schamhorst  having  died  in  June  from  a 
wound  received  at  Lutzen),  were  covered  with  dearly  won 

At  the  battle  of  Katzbach,  which  was  fought  on  the  26th 
of  August,  1813,  the  French  troops  in  Silesia  were  almost 
annihilated  by  the  Prussians,  under  the  intrepid  Bliicher. 
He  had  allowed  the  French  to  defile  through  the  narrow 
passes  until  he  thought  the  time  had  come  for  an  attack, 
when,  placing  himself  at  the  head  of  his  troops,  he  ex- 
claimed :  "  Now,  children,  enough  Frenchmen  have  gone 
by  —  come  on  —  forward!"  and  the  armed  children,  fol- 
lowing, spread  death  and  destruction  among  the  ranks  of 
their  enemies.  In  the  complimentary  address  issued  the 
following  day,  to  his  brave  soldiers  he  said:  "By  this 
great  victory  we  have  forced  the  French  to  abandon  the 
whole  of  Silesia ;  we  have  captured  one  hundred  and  three 
pieces  of  cannon,  two  hundred  and  fifty  ammunition 
wagons,  two  French  Eagles^  together  with  numerous  other 
trophies,  and  have  taken  eighteen  thousand  prisoners, 
including  many  of  their  superior  officers."  After  this 
battle  his  pet  name  among  his  troops  was  "Marshal  For- 
warts."  His  grateful  King,  shortly  afterward,  created 
him  a  field-marshal  and  prince,  with  the  title  of  "  Prince 
of  Wahlstadt." 

Blticher  was  the  man  (if  we  except  Stein),  in  the  war 
for  German  independence,  who  will  live  longest  in  the 
hearts  and  memory  of  his  countrymen.  His  hard,  un- 
yielding hatred  to  "  the  invader  "  became  a  religion  with 
him.  He  was  the  resurrection  and  re-habilitation  of  Fred- 
erick the  Great's  national  hopes.  A  major  of  cavalry 
with  "  Grosser  Fritz,"  it  is  said  of  him,  that,  in  those  early 
days,  he  was  a  very  opinionated  young  fellow,  who  stood 


upon  having  his  rights  upon  all  occasions.  A  junior  officer 
being  promoted  over  him,  Blucher  instantly  offered  his 
resignation  to  Frederick  the  Great,  who,  in  the  same 
spirited  manner,  accepted  it,  saying :  "  Major  BlUcher,  you 
may  go  to  the  devil."  Of  course  that  did  not  end  the 
major's  martial  career.  Such  a  character  was  needed  in 
Prussia's  regeneration,  and  but  for  him  the  battle  of  Water- 
loo might  not  have  ended,  as  it  did,  the  political  career 
of  Napoleon  Bonaparte.  At  the  age  of  seventy,  he  pos- 
sessed the  physical  and  mental  vigor  of  other  generals  of 
fifty.  Whenever  complimented  for  his  achievements,  he 
used  to  point  toward  Gneisenau,  saying,  "  There  is  my 
head ;  to  him  and  to  the  Almighty  you  must  be  thank- 
ful for  the  success."  And,  in  fact,  it  was  the  indomitable 
courage  of  BlUcher,  combined  with  the  military  genius  of 
Gneisenau,  to  which  the  great  victories  of  tliat  war  are 
mainly  attributable. 

After  the  memorable  battle  fo  Leipsic,  these  two  heroes 
were  the  first  to  exclaim,  in  a  council  of  war  held  in  the 
field,  "Forward  to  Paris!  Providence  has  furnished 
us  with  the  means  for  the  destruction  of  the  despot.  We 
should  be  unworthy  of  our  country's  love  if  we  failed  to 
employ  them." 

Prince  William,  who  had  been  appointed  a  captain  of 
the  Royal  Guards,  was  permitted  to  join  the  army  in  its 
march  to  Paris.  "  I  shall  take  you  with  me,"  said  the 
King,  "  but  for  six  weeks  only,  because  you  are  not  yet 
quite  strong."  The  Prince  was  in  the  suite  of  the  Rus- 
sian general,  Jacken,  when,  on  the  1st  of  January,  1814, 
as  the  allied  troops  passed  the  Rhine  near  Mannheim,  he, 
for  the  first  time  in  his  life,  became  familiar  with  the 
sound  of  booming  artillery.    On  the  27th  of  January,  he 


received  his  "  baptism  of  fire  '^  at  the  battle  of  Bar-sur- 
Aube,  where  he  gave  proof  of  his  sang  froid  and  personal 

A  biographer  thus  describes  this  little  episode  of 
Triuce  William's  first  "  smell  of  powder  " :  "  The  King 
from  an  eminence  observed  one  of  his  regiments  cruelly 
exposed  to  the  enemy's  fire,  and  ordered  his  son  to  go  and 
ascertain  the  name  of  its  commander.  The  order  com- 
pels the  Prince  to  ride  within  the  radius  of  a  heavy  in- 
fantry fire,  exposing  him  to  the  danger  of  being  shot  from 
his  horse.  Without  the  slightest  hesitation,  he  proceeded 
upon  his  mission,  appearing  in  the  midst  of  the  astonished 
soldiei^,  fulfills  his  order,  and,  after  having  shaken  hands 
with  Colonel  Yack,  of  the  regiment,  gallops  back  to  his 
father  with  the  desired  information.  Later  on,  he  took 
part  in  the  assault  of  the  Russian  regiment,  Kaluga,  on 
the  heights  of  Malepin,  and,  as  a  reward  for  his  fearless 
conduct  in  this  battle,  he  was  decorated  by  his  father  with 
the  *  Iron  Cross,'  an  order  created  on  the  10th  of  March, 
1812,  the  anniversary  of  Queen  Louisa's  birthday,  and  the 
greatest  honor  a  Prussian  soldier  can  receive  from  his 
King.  The  Prince  also  received  an  order  from  Alexander. 
The  allied  army  was  quickly  and  surely  investing  the  rem- 
nant of  Napoleon's  forces.  His  battles  were  fought  with 
the  desperation  of  death." 

At  the  village  of  Eothiere,  where  a  strong  position 
was  held  by  the  French,  and  where  Napoleon  commanded 
in  person,  the  allies  met  an  unexpected  resistance.  At 
last,  Marshal  BlUcher  hurriedly  placed  himself  at  the 
front,  called  to  his  troops  in  thunder  tones,  "Forward!" 
took  the  village  by  storm,  and  marched  on  toward  Paris. 
Many  more  battles  were  to  be  fought  by  the  allies,  and 


at  one  time  they  were  upon  the  point  of  concluding  a 
peace  with  Napoleon,  and  but  for  the  energetic  protest  of 
Marshal  Blucher  might  have  done  so.  His  request  to  be 
furnished  with  two  additional  divisions,  and  the  increase 
of  his  troops  to  100,000  men,  being  granted,  he  started 
on  his  way  straight  to  the  French  capital.  Every  inch  of 
the  way  was  contested,  but  in  vain.  Napoleon  must  sur- 
render. Accordingly,  on  the  31st  of  March,  1814,  the 
King  of  Prussia,  the  Emperor  of  Eussia,  with  the  two  sons 
of  the  King  of  Prussia,  rode  into  Paris,  the  Emperor  of 
Austria  remaining  some  leagues  behind.  Paris  had  sur- 
rendered,  and  the  Emperor  of  Russia  had  given  the  fiat  of 
the  allied  powers,  to- wit :  that  "  they  would,  in  no  way 
whatever,  treat  either  with  Napoleon  or  any  one  of  his 
family ;  and  the  French  people  were  at  liberty  to  choose 
another  government."  On  the  6th  of  April,  after  Louis 
XVIII.  had  been  acknowledged  as  King  of  the  French, 
Napoleon  signed  his  abdication  and  departed  for  the  little 
island  of  Elba,  in  the  Mediterranean  Sea. 

The  Emperor  of  Russia  and  the  King  of  Prussia  now 
left  Paris,  accompanied  by  Prince  "William  (who  had  since 
been  promoted  to  a  Majorship)  and  Marshal  BlUcher, 
set  out  for  London  to  pay  a  visit  to  the  English  Prince 
Regent.  From  London,  father  and  son  proceeded  to 
Switzerland,  to  take  possession  of  Neufchatel,  which  had 
been  transferred  to  Pmssia  in  the  settlement,  and  on  the 
3d  of  August  the  solemn  entry  of  the  royal  guards  into 
Berlin  took  place — one  of  the  great  triumphal  processions 
of  history. 

Hardly  had  the  public  mind  become  settled  to  the 
certainty  of  a  returned  peace,  when  the  news  of  Napo- 
leon's return  from  the  island  of  Elba,  and  his  arrival  in 

HIS  BIKTH   AND   YOUTH.  2<>3 

Paris,  on  the  30th  of  March,  1815,  again  threw  Europe 
into  consternation.  The  peaceful  tone  of  his  proclama- 
tion, in  which  the  promise  was  most  solemnly  made 
"  that  the  Empire  henceforth  meant  peace,"  did  not  de- 
ceive the  European  rulers,  who  forthwith  declared  him  an 
outlaw.  His  overtures  being  thus  rejected,  he  attempted 
to  compel,  with  an  armed  force,  what  was  refused  him 
peacefully;  but  Marshal  BlUcher  and  General  Wellington 
put  a  speedy  end  to  further  parleying  at  the  battle  of 

King  Frederick  William  and  his  son  William  had  started 
from  Berlin  to  take  part  in  this  last  campaign  against 
Napoleon,  but  before  reaching  the  army  the  news  of  his 
defeat  and  of  his  transfer  to  an  English  ship  overtook 
them.  Continuing  this  journey  they  reentered  Paris,  in 
company  with  Alexander  I.  and  Francis  II.  of  Austria, 
on  the  13th  of  July,  1815.  Upon  Prince  William's  return, 
he  devoted  his  time  and  energies  almost  exclusively  for 
the  next  two  years  to  his  military  studies.  In  March, 
1817,  he  received  the  appointment  of  Colonel,  taking  com- 
mand  of  a  battalion  of  the  Guards.  The  following  year, 
upon  attaining  his  majority,  he  was  promoted  to  a  Major- 
Generalship,  and  in  1819  was  honored  with  a  seat  and 
vote  in  the  war  ministry.  In  1825,  on  the  occasion  of  his 
birthday,  he  was  placed  in  command  of  the  Third  Bran- 
denburg Army  Corps,  and  three  months  later  received  the 
rank  and  title  of  Lieutenant-General. 

In  June,  1817,  Prince  William  accompanied  his  sister, 
Charlotte,  the  bride  of  the  Czarowitch  Nicholas  of  Russia, 
to  St.  Petersburg,  and  witnessed  the  marriage  ceremonies, 
which  took  place  on  the  13th  of  July.  In  the  latter  part 
of  May,  the  following  year,  King  Frederick  Willia.m  paid 


a  visit  to  his  daughter  at  the  Rnssian  capital,  who  had 
jast  presented  her  hasband  with  a  son  (Alexander).  Be 
fore  taking  his  departure,  the  King  entrosted  his  son 
William  with  the  supreme  management  of  the  military 
affairs  of  his  kingdom. 

In  October,  1822  and  1823,  Prince  William  and  his 
elder  brother  accompanied  their  father  upon  an  extended 
tour  through  Switzerland  and  Italy,  visiting  Neufch&tel, 
Venice,  Verona,  Naples,  Pompeii  and  Rome,  at  which 
place  they  paid  their  respects  to  the  Pope.  Prof.  Bunsen,  in 
whose  care  the  two  princes  had  been  placed  during  this 
journey,  writes  of  them  as  follows :  "  They  are  both 
very  observant  and  intelligent.  Prince  William  is  of  a 
serious  disposition  and  manly  character,  which  one  can 
not  behold  and  understand  without  being  heartily  devoted 
to  him,  and  must  in  all  sincerity  hold  him  in  high  esteem." 

The  story  of  an  early  attachment  of  the  Prince  is  often 
related,  and  may  or  may  not  be  true.  These  affairs  in 
royal  families  are  most  generally  rather  arbitrarily  settled. 
The  story  runs  as  follows: 

"  The  marriage  of  the  Crown-Prince, Frederick  William, 
was  not  blessed  by  an  heir,  and  probabilities  indicated 
that  Prince  William  would  one  day  succeed  to  the  throne. 
Frederick  William  III.  was  especially  proud  of  him.  Firm, 
faithful,  kind,  and  brave,  the  young  Prince  had  become 
the  army's  idol.  Unfortunately,  he  loved  the  Princess 
Charlotte  Radziwill,  then  the  belle  of  the  northern  metro- 
polis. The  handsome  Pnnce  seemed  made  for  her,  and 
she  created  for  him.  But  it  was  in  vain.  The  inequality 
of  her  birth  was  insuperable.  The  old  dynasty  to  which 
she  belonged  outshone  in  power  and  wealth  many  of  the 
princely  houses  of  the  fatherland,  and  once,  in  the  day  of 


HIS   BIRTH   AND   YOUTH.  265 

the  Great  Elector,  HohenzoUem  had  led  a  Badziwill  to  the 
altar.  But  those  days  were  changed.  A  more  stringent 
code  governed  the  alliances  of  the  royal  house  since  the 
reign  of  Frederick  the  Great,  confining  them  entii'ely  to 
immediate  members  of  ruling  families.  The  Badziwills 
ruled  no  more.  Five  years  went  by.  Prince  William 
refused  to  give  up  his  choice.  Everything  was  done  to 
allay  the  doubts  and  accomplish  the  union.  Persuaded 
by  Prince  Anton  Radziwill,  a  prominent  and  powerful 
scion  of  the  house,  the  great  jurist,  Eichhorn,  attempted 
to  prove,  in  a  lengthy  publication,  the  equality  of  his 
patron's  family.  But  his  learning  could  not  overcome  a 
prejudice  and  the  erudition  of  distinguished  opponents. 
As  a  last  resort,  Prince  August  of  Prussia,  offered  to 
adopt  Charlotte,  but  the  theorists  said  that  adoption 
would  not  replace  blood.  And  other  complications  had 
arisen  in  the  meantime.  A  young  brother.  Prince  Karl, 
had  married  a  Saxon  princess,  and  the  grand  ducal  court 
could  claim  the  crown  for  the  children  of  this  union 
should  the  Eadziwill  marriage  take  place.  Here  was  the 
crisis.  Love  could  no  more  be  the  only  consideration. 
The  fate  of  a  dynasty  was  at  stake.  This  the  King  could 
not  allow.  Worked  upon  by  his  monitors,  he  finally  but 
reluctantly  decided  to  use  his  authority.  This  was  in 
1826.  In  a  letter,  every  word  of  which  breathed  contri- 
tion and  sorrow,  he  reviewed  all  that  had  been  done  in  the 
case  to  please  his  son,  but  done  in  vain.  Nothing  now  re- 
mained but  to  sacrifice  himself  for  the  welfare  of  his 
country  and  the  salvation  of  the  race. 

"  Receiving  the  letter  from  the  hands  of  General  von 
Witzleban,  the  prince  was  completely  unmanned,  weeping 
Uke  a  child.    But  gathering  courage  to  stare  destiny  in 


the  face,  he  replied  during  the  same  evening  that  he  would 
obey.  He  unburdened  his  soul  to  his  father,  assuring  him 
that  he  would  justify  his  trust  in  mastering  his  grief  and 
hardening  himself  to  the  inevitable.  The  lovers  were 
separated,  and  a  year  later,  at  an  arranged  meeting  at  the 
court  of  Saxe- Weimar,  the  Prince  became  acquainted 
with  the  Princess  Augusta,  just  entering  her  sixteenth 
year.  Of  her,  the  celebrated  savant,  William  von  Hum- 
boldt, then  said :  '  She  is  a  young  lady  of  firm  and  inde- 
pendent character,  with  a  quick  and  penetrating  mind.' 

"The  young  couple  were  betrothed  on  the  19th  of 
October,  1828,  and  in  June,  the  following  year,  the  wed- 
ding ceremonies  took  place." 

On  the  18th  of  October,  1831,  the  anniversary  of  the 
battle  of  Leipsic,  "  Unser  Fritz,"  Frederick  William  Nich- 
olas Karl  (Frederick  III.),  the  late  Emperor  of  Ger- 
many, first  saw  the  light  of  day.  Seven  years  later,  a 
daughter,  Louise,  present  Grand  Duchesse  of  Baden,  was 
bom  to  the  royal  pair. 

After  the  first  occupation  of  Paris  by  the  allies,  a  con- 
gress of  the  powers  which  had  formed  the  coalition 
against  Napoleon  was  called  to  meet  at  Vienna.  This 
congress,  composed  of  the  princes  and  ambassadors,  met 
in  1814,  but  did  not  finish  its  work  until  June  9, 1815, 
nine  days  before  the  battle  of  Waterloo,  At  this 
congress  the  map  of  Europe  was  entirely  remodeled,  and 
as  best  suited  the  convenience  and  according  to  the  degree 
of  influence  the  one  or  other  of  the  sovereigns,  or  their 
representatives,  could  bring  to  bear  upon  the  delibera- 
tions of  the  congress. 

"The  American  reader  will  observe,"  says  the  his- 
torian   Lewis,  "that    this   self-constituted   tribunal   of 


sovereigns  assumed  the  absolute  right  to  dispose,  at 
its  own  will,  of  the  people  of  Europe,  assigning  them,  by 
nations,  cities  and  districts,  to  such  rulers,  governments 
and  political  associations  as  pleased  it." 

By  the  stipulations  of  this  congress,  Prussia  received 
the  province  of  Posen,  and  half  the  Saxon  territory,  with 
845,000  inhabitants.  She  also  received  the  Duchies  of 
JUllich  and  Berg,  on  the  Rhine,  and  a  number  of  other 
smaller  districts  and  towns.  Considering  the  sacrifices 
Prussia  had  made  for  the  War  of  Independence,  her  share 
in  the  spoils  was  very  meager,  indeed ;  but  what  Prussia 
failed  to  secure  in  territory  she  gained  in  prestige  among 
the  people  of  Germany,  as  an  exclusively  German  power. 
Without  suspecting  it,  Austria  and  Russia  had,  by  tneir 
niggardly  treatment  of  Prussia,  laid  the  very  foundation 
for  her  future  greatness  and  power.  Her  kingdom  now 
became  the  nucleus  of  the  great  German  idea — German 
unity.  Germany  was  now  formed  into  a  confederation  of 
thirty-eight  states,  and  took  the  place  of  the  former  Ger- 
man Empire:  of, which  Austria,  Prussia,  Bavaria,  Sax- 
ony, Hanover,  Wiirtenburg  and  Baden  were  the  largest. 

In  the  act  of  confederation  it  was  stipulated  that 
all  members  should  have  equal  and  uniform  rights. 

That  the  general  interest  of  the  confederation  must  be 
discussed  and  arranged  at  a  Diet,  to  be  held  at  Frankfort- 
on-the-Main,  under  the  presidency  of  Austria. 

All  members  of  the  confederation  to  promise  to  unite 
together  against  foreign  attacks ;  but  never  to  levy  war 
against  each  other. 

In  all  the  states  of  the  confederation  there  was  to  he 
a  constitutional  ffover?im£nt. 

Religious  liberty  to  be  guaranteed  throughout  the 


The  Diet  to  occcupy  itself  with  the  formation  of  laws 
for  the  liberty  of  the  press,  as  well  as  for  commercial 
intercourse  between  the  states  of  the  confederation. 

Thus  it  would  seem  that  after  parcelling  out  territory 
and  peoples  in  the  most  Russian  fashion,  the  Congress 
took  a  long  step  in  a  progressive  direction ;  but  as  was  to 
be  expected  from  an  assemblage  of  which  Mettemich  was 
the  leading  spirit,  the  promises  made  were  those  merely 
of  kings,  to  be  broken  at  pleasure. 

On  November  5, 1816,  the  first  meeting  of  the  Diet 
took  place  at  Frankfort.  In  the  clash  of  interests  that 
immediately  followed,  everything  relating  to  the  estab- 
lishing of  courts  and  the  internal  government  of  the  dif- 
ferent states  was  forgotten. 

It  was  plainly  apparent  at  the  very  outlook  that  by 
giving  to  Austria  the  presidency,  which  at  best  was  not 
a  German  power,  but  a  conglomeration  of  various  dis- 
cordant nationalities,  the  seeds  of  contention  had  been 
sown.  The  most  strictly  German  power,  and  which,  by 
tradition  and  by  the  inherent  German  pharacteiristics  of 
her  people,  was  entitled  to  the  lead  in  a  confederation  of 
German  states,  was  pushed  into  the  background. 

The  preponderance  given  to  Austria  was  also  justly 
interpreted  by  the  progressive  party  of  Germany  as  a 
concession  to  Catholicism  and  a  step  in  the  direction  of 
political  retrogression.  In  fact,  the  smaller  states  of  the 
confederation  soon  took  sides  with  one  or  the  other  of 
these  two  countries  which  were  striving  for  national 
supremacy  upon  this  line  of  thought.  Those  states  where 
religious  bigotry  and  the  servility  of  the  people  most  pre- 
vailed sided  with  Austria,  while  those  entertaining  more 
liberal  and  progressive  religious  and  political  ideas  leaned 


toward  Prussia.  But,  while  the  compact  had  thus 
engendered  political  strife  between  the  members  of  the 
confederation,  and  Germany  was  losing  what  little  pres- 
tige she  had  among  the  European  powers,  the  salutary 
provision  which  compelled  each  of  the  states  to  keep  the 
peace  among  themselves,  had  the  effect  of  securing  to  the 
German  people  a  period  of  forty-five  years  for  recupera- 
tion—  a  period  of  prosperity  and  general  contentment 
unknown  since  her  golden  days  before  the  Eeformation. 
The  material  well-being  of  Germany,  however,  did  not 
destroy  the  hope  nursed  in  the  hearts  of  her  people  for 
greater  political  freedom,  which  had  been  one  of  the 
incentives  to  their  struggle  for  independence.  They  still 
sung  and  wrote  of  their  achievements  in  behalf  of  country 
and  liberty.  They  listened  to  the  story  of  Armenius, 
and  the  share  the  Germans  took  in  defending  Europe 
against  the  corrupting  power  of  the  Byzantine  Empire. 
They  ren>embered,  with  self-exaltation,  that  Martin 
Luther  was  their  countryman;  that  the  world  was  in- 
debted to  them  for  the  religious  freedom  it  enjoyed ;  and 
it  was  to  their  fathers'  bravery,  under  the  lead  of  Frederick 
the  Great,  that  Germany  had  been  preserved  from  becom- 
ing part  Cossack,  part  Austrian,  and  part  French.  It  was 
Northern  Germany  —  the  land  of  the  Saxon  and  Goth  — 
which  had  offered  the  most,  done  the  most,  and  suffered 
the  most  in  all  these  early  struggles  for  liberty  of  action 
and  liberty  of  thought.  They  also  felt  that  to  their  sac- 
rifices, their  treasures,  their  bravery  and  heroism,  Ger- 
many's independence  from  French  domination  was  mainly 
due.  They  had  been  led  to  believe  that,  after  having  suf- 
fered and  sacrificed,  and  finally  achieved  these  successes, 
and  because  the  liberal  policies  of  Stein  and  Schamhorst 


had  proven  eminently  successful  to  Prussia,  that  the 
promises  made  by  the  King  before  the  battle  of  Waterloo 
would  be  fulfilled. 

This  wish  or  aspiration  for  a  constitutional  govern- 
ment had  taken  deep  root  in  the  universities  —  the 
nurseries  of  the  Keformation.  German  unity  should  mean 
a  government  founded  upon  German  intelligence  and 
equality.  The  students  who  had  taken  part  in  the  conflict 
for  the  nation's  independence,  having  passed  through  the 
common  dangers  of  a  terrible  war,  could  not  realize  their 
insignificance  upon  the  return  of  peace.  They  formed 
themselves  into  organizations  —  student  veteran  associ- 
ations —  called  the  Burschenschaft,  the  first  of  which  was 
organized  at  Jena.  In  1817  the  number  of  orders  in- 
cluded the  universities  of  Tubingen,  Heidelberg,  Halle, 
Giessen,  and  one  or  two  others.  On  the  18th  of  October 
of  the  same  year,  the  representatives  of  fourteen  universi- 
ties assembled  at  Wartburg  —  of  Martin  Luther  fame  — 
and  adopted  a  constitution.  Their  ruling  incentive  was 
united  action  towards  securing  for  United  Germany  a 
constitutional  government. 

The  hereditary  monarchs  of  Europe,  forming  the 
"  Holy  Alliance,"  looked  upon  these  liberal  tendencies  and 
manifestations  as  dangerous  heresies  and  innovations, 
threatening  the  established  order  of  things  in  Europe, 
and  which  it  was  their  bounden  duty  to  suppress. 

Among  the  German  powers,  Austria  led  the  reaction- 
ary movement.  Mettemich,  the  prime  minister  of  the 
Emperor  was  the  ablest  and  most  diplomatic  statesman  of 
the  age,  but  a  sworn  enemy  to  every  liberalizing  aspir- 
ation of  the  people.  His  efforts  were  accordingly  directed 
towards  defeating  a  constitutional  form  of  government, 


not  only  of  the  Confederation,  but  in  Austria  and  every 
other  German  state.  Every  ruler  felt  the  power  of  his 
opposition.  While  in  the  midst  of  this  reactionary  struggle 
of  the  monarchs  against  fulfilling  the  promises  maae  to 
the  people,  the  cry  of  murder  startled  the  land,  giving  all 
Europe  a  sudden  shock,  and  causing  the  people  to  pause 
in  lending  countenance  to  measures  not  in  accordance  with 
the  laws  of  the  country — ^the  remembrance  of  the  French 
revolution  being  still  fresh  in  their  minds.  The  cause  of 
this  cessation  of  active  operations  was  the  death  of  Au- 
gust Frederick  von  Kotzebue,  a  German  dramatist  of  ac- 
knowledged talent,  but  of  easy  conscience.  It  was  known 
that  he  had  used  his  pen  to  give  satirical  accounts  of  those 
political  organizations  of  the  German  students  to  the 
"hated  despots,"  and,  more  especially,  to  the  Czar  of 
Russia,  in  whose  pay  he  was  said  to  be.  His  death  was 
decided  upon  by  the  Burschenschaft  and  his  assassin  was 
to  be  designated  by  lot.  It  fell  upon  a  student  named 
Sand,  who  went  to  Mannheim  in  Baden,  where  Kotzebue 
was  then  living,  and  appearing  before  him,  with  the  wild 
exclamation :  "  This  is  for  you — ^traitor  to  your  country ! " 
stabbed  him  to  the  heart.  Sand  was  beheaded,  but  his 
execution  was  the  occasion  for  a  liberal  demonstration, 
the* students  dipping  their  handkerchiefs  in  the  blood  of 
their  martyred  brother,  accompanied  with  gi'eat  lamenta- 
tions. But  assassination,  when  committed  in  the  name 
of  liberty,  has  always  proven  the  best  ally  of  despotism. 

This  murder  of  the  author  Kotzebue  did  not  form  an 
exception  to  the  rule.  It  was  as  inexcusable  as  it  was 
fatal  to  the  liberal  cause  of  Germany.  Metternich  at  once 
seized  upon  the  unfortunate  occurrence  as  a  pretext  for  the 
adoption  of  repressive  measures.    Upon  his  request,  the 



September  following,  the  Diet  at  Frankfort  passed  the 
Carlsbad  Resolutions,  by  which  the  Burschenschaft  was 
suppressed,  the  freedom  of  the  press  destroyed,  and  in- 
quisitorial commissions  for  the  suppression  of  political 
agitation  established.  In  May,  1820,  Metternich's  des- 
potic policy  was  further  strengthened  by  the  adoption 
of  the  so-called  "Final  Act,"  by  which  every  state  was 
required  to  furnish  military  aid  in  suppressing  movements 
of  liberal  tendencies  in  any  part  of  the  confederation ;  and 
to  complete  the  slavery  in  which  he  hoped  to  bind  the 
peoples  of  Europe,  similar  repressive  measures  wereadopted 
by  the  congresses  of  the  sovereigns  of  the  "  Holy  Alliance." 

But  while  the  two  greatest  and,  in  a  military  sense, 
strongest  powers  of  the  German  confederation  were 
steadily  pursuing  the  most  illiberal  and  reactionary  course, 
a  strong  anti-Metternich  sentiment  was  growing  up  in  the 
smaller  states,  some  of  which  were  ruled  by  wise  and  pop- 
ular sovereigns  who  had  conscientiously  fulfilled  the  prom- 
ise made  the  people  of  the  several  states  in  the  act  of  con- 
federation, to-wit :  that  there  should  be  a  constitutional 
government  in  every  state  of  the  confederation.  The  first 
sovereign  to  fulfill  this  promise  was  the  Duke  of  Weimar. 
Nassau,  Bavaria^  Baden  and  Wtirtemberg  followed  in 
1818.  These  liberal  concessions  had  the  effect  of  increas- 
ing the  number  and  strengthening  the  convictions  of  those 
in  the  vanguard  of  political  freedom  ;  and  as  liberty  is  epi- 
demical in  its  effect,  the  people  of  the  larger  states,  from 
which  these  political  advantages  were  still  withheld,  be- 
came gradually  more  restless.  In  Prussia,  however,  the 
people  were  indemnified  for  the  King's  withholding  his 
promise  by  advantages  in  other  directions. 

It  must  be  said  to  the  credit  of  King  Frederick  Will- 


iam  III.  that  while  he  was  naturally  inclined  towards  ab- 
solute monarchism,  and  was  politically  under  the  influence 
of  absolutists,  of  which  Emperor  Alexander  of  Russia  and 
Prince  Metternich  were  the  master  spirits,  he  was  heart- 
ily devoted  to  the  interests  of  his  people,  and  gave  every 
assistance  in  his  power  to  the  development  of  the  resources 
of  Prussia,  and  to  the  promotion  of  her  agricultural  indus- 
tries and  commercial  interests. 

Public  instruction  had  never  been  overlooked  by  him, 
even  in  the  darkest  .hour  of  Prassia's  wars,  and  since  peace 
had  returned  it  received  his  special  care  and  atten- 
tion; the  institutions  of  learning,  from  the  elementary 
school  to  the  highest  colleges  of  science,  were  multiplied 
and  brought  to  a  high  state  of  perfection.  The  Univer- 
sity of  Berlin  owes  its  existence  to  King  Frederick  Will- 
iam III.  He  was  also  instrumental  in  bringing  about  a 
union  of  the  Eeformed  Churches  with  the  Lutherans,  and 
in  1828  in  forming  the  German  Zollverein  (Tariff  Confede- 



IT  had  been  charged  that  Prince  William  was  merely 
a  military  martinet  until  he  reached  the  throne.  If 
this  were  true,  future  events  have  shown  that  it  was  not 
only  the  best  thing  for  Prussia,  but  for  the  whole  of  Ger^ 
many,  that  he  was  such.  A  careful  study  of  the  causes 
which  led  to  the  death  struggle  of  his  ancestor,  Frederick 
the  Great,  as  well  as  his  own  experiences  during  the  years 
of  his  country's  greatest  humiliation  and  prospective  down- 
fall, and  a  knowledge  of  Austria's  constant  effort  to  be- 
little Prussia's  influence  with  the  smaller  German  states — 
all  must  have  impressed  the  prince  early  in  life  with  the 
certainty  that  Prussia's  future  safety  and  her  position  as 
a  German  power  lay  in  making  her  as  strong  physically 
as  she  was  becoming  intellectually,  and  in  the  line  of  ac- 
tion laid  down  by  Stern,  Scharnhorst  and  other  patriots 
of  1812  and  1813.  Prussia,  these  men  thought,  could 
only  exist  under  the  protecting  arm  of  a  well  organized 
and  equipped  army. 

With  France  on  the  west,  Austria  on  the  south,  the 
smaller  German  states  an  uncertain  quantity,  and  a  dis- 
affected element  at  home,  the  Prince  readily  saw  that 
some  one  of  his  family,  if  the  family  continued  to  hold  its 
ancestral  inheritance,  must  be  at  the  head  of  the  ai*my. 
His  love  of  order,  discipline,  and  hopes  for  the  prosperity 
of  Prussia,  fitted  him  for  this  branch  of  his  father's  gov- 
ernment the  best.  Accordingly,  from  the  date  of  his  ma- 
jority, 1818  to  1840,  we  find  his  life  an  exceedingly  active 



00     g 

•2*  S 


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Xi     "^ 

^  i 
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one.  Aside  from  his  natural  interest,  he  was  first  made 
commander  of  an  army  corps,  with  the  rank  of  Lieutenant- 
General,  which  office  compelled  him  to  aid  in  the  reorgan- 
ization of  the  army.  His  tours  of  military  inspection 
throughout  the  provinces,  as  well  as  the  professional  mis- 
sions to  Italy,  Austria,  Russia,  Switzerland,  and  Belgium 
at  the  request  of  his  government,  gave  him  little  time  foi' 

On  8th  of  June,  1840,  his  father  died,  and  his  brother, 
Frederick  William  IV.,  was  crowned  King  of  Prussia. 
This  man  was  a  monarch  of  more  than  ordinary  acquire- 
ments. He  was  an  orator  of  some  prominence  and  his 
education  was  of  the  highest  order.  Like  his  father,  he 
was  fondly  attached  to  his  people,  and  earnestly  devoted 
to  their  material  interests  ;he  conscientiously  believed  that 
by  promoting  these  interests  he  was  fulfilling  his  whole 
duty  as  King.  It  is  true,  he  showed  a  more  liberal  spirit 
than  his  predecessors,  but  he  was  not  in  accord  with  the 
progressive  ideas  of  the  times,  and  the  requests  by  popular 
leaders  for  a  constitution  were  answered  with  such  evasive 
remarks  as :  "I  will  not  allow  a  piece  of  paper  to  push  it- 
self between  me  and  my  people." 

An  erroneous  but  unanimous  opinion  prevailed  at  this 
time,  that  the  King  was  well  disposed  and  in  hearty  sym- 
pathy with  the  reforms  demanded  by  the  people,  but  that 
Prince  William  was  the  evil  spirit  behind  the  throne. 
This  charge  has  since  been  proven  untrue  in  every  partic- 
ular. However,  as  the  opposite  of  the  truth  is  usually 
firmest  believed,  this  impression  continued  to  be  held. 
Accordingly,  his  accession  to  the  throne  of  Prussia,  after 
the  death  of  his  childless  and  physically  feeble  brother 
was  contemplated  w^ith  much  fear  and  apprehension. 


In  anticipation  of  such  an  event,  Frederick  William  IV., 
on  the  12th  of  June,  1840,  conferred  upon  Prince  William 
the  title  of  Prince  of  Prussia,  and  the  rank  and  title  of 
General  of  the  Prussian  Infantry. 

As  before  stated,  the  Prussians  expected  much  of  the 
scholarly  King  in  the  way  of  a  Constitutional  govern- 
ment. But  although  he  had  shown  a  liberal  spirit  when 
Crown  Prince,  when  firmly  seated  upon  the  throne,  he 
suddenly  became  an  absolutist. 

In  1842  he  took  a  journey  to  England,  appointing 
William,  now  forty-seven  years  of  age.  Regent  during  his 
absence.  Says  Baron  Bunsen,  in  his  letters,  in  regard  to 
the  opinions  of  the  Prince  upon  the  constitutional  ques- 
tion then  agitating  the  country : 

"  The  Prince  spoke  with  me  more  than  an  hour,  ad 
lihitum;  in  the  first  place  about  England,  then  on  the 
great  question— ^the  Constitution.  I  told  him  all  that  I 
had  said  to  the  King  of  facts  that  I  had  witnessed.  Upon 
his  question,  What  my  opinion  was?  I  requested  time 
for  consideration,  as  I  had  come  hither  to  learn  and  to 
hear ;  but  so  much  I  could  perceive  and  openly  declare, 
that  it  would  be  impossible  longer  to  govern  with  Provin- 
cial Assemblies  alone^ — ^it  was  as  if  the  solar  system 
should  be  furnished  with  centrifugal  powers  only.  The 
Prince  stated  to  me  his  own  position  relative  to  the  great 
question,  and  to  the  King,  with  a  clearness,  precision, 
self-command,  and  openness  which  delighted  me !  He  is 
quite  like  his  father;  throughout  a  noble-minded  Prince 
of  Brandenburg — ^the  house  which  has  created  Prussia." 

Two  years  after,  William  visited  England,  and  was 
cordially  received  by  Queen  Victoria  and  Prince  Albert. 
Says  the  Queen,  in  her  diary  published  a  short  time  since : 


«I  like  him. very  much.  He  is  extremely  amiable, 
agreeable  and  sensible;  cheerful  and  eas}''  to  get  on 
with.  He  is  very  amusing,  talkative  and  frank.  On  all 
public  questions  he  spoke  most  freely,  mildly  and  judi- 
ciously, and  I  think  would  make  a  steadier  and  safer  King 
than  the  present.  He  was  in  ecstasy  with  the  park  and 
the  trees,  as  he  is  with  everything  in  England.  He 
seemed  to  take  a  liking  to  England — admired  her  great- 
ness, which  he  perceives  to  be  a  consequence  of  her  politi- 
cal and  religious  institutions."  But  in  his  "  Life  of  the 
Prince  Consort,"  Sir  Theodore  Martin  observes :  "  The 
cry  throughout  Europe  at  this  time  was  for  Constitutional 
government  upon  the  English  model;  but  the  Prince 
seems  to  have  felt  that  a  Constitution  like  ours,  which  had 
grown  up  with  the  growth  of  the  nation,  and  owed  its 
form,  as  well  as  its  stability,  to  the  fact  that  it  was  in 
harmony  with  the  national  culture  and  life  and  habits, 
was  not  a  thing  to  be  applied  to  the  other  nations  of  Eu- 
rope, where  none  of  the  conditions  were  the  same." 
Further,  Sir  Theodore  says :  "A  very  cordial  and  intimate 
relation  was  established  between  Prince  Albert  and  the 
Prince  of  Prussia  during  this  visit.  Frank  and  sincere  as 
both  were  by  nature,  and  both  watching  with  anxious  in- 
terest the  aspect  of  affairs  on  the  Continent,  which  was 
already  prophetic  of  coming  storms,  this  was  only  to  be 
expected.  The  friendship  was  cemented  by  personal  in- 
tercourse during  four  sul3sequent  visits  of  the  Prince  of 
Prussia  to  England  in  1848, 1850, 1853  and  1856,  and  came 
to  a  happy  climax  in  the  marriage  by  which  the  reigning 
families  of  Prussia  and  England  became  united  in  1858." 

When  the  news  reached  Germany  that  on  the  24th  of 
February,  1848,  an  uprising  had  taken  place  in  Paris;  that 


King  Louis  Philippe  had  been  driven  into  exile  and  a  repub- 
lic proclaimed,  a  great  impetus  was  given  to  liberal  ideas 
in  Germany.  The  sovereigns  of  almost  all  the  smaller 
States  who,  but  a  few  days  before  had  remained  deaf  to 
the  pleadings  of  their  subjects,  now  leant  a  willing  ear  as 
sovereigns  always  do  at  the  specter  of  sudden  revolution. 
They  protested  they  always  were  the  dear  friends  of  the 
people,  and  never  had  any  other  object  than  the  people's 
interests  at  heart.  The  people  believed  them,  and  were 
for  the  time  being  appeased  by  a  change  of  ministry.  The 
reactionary  cabinets  being  dismissed,  others  professing 
more  liberal  views  were  installed  in  oflBice.  These  were 
called  "  the  March-ministers." 

The  people  of  Prussia  were  among  the  first  to  demand 
from  Frederick  William  IV.  their  rights  so  long  wrong- 
fully withheld.  "The  King's  intentions  are  good,"  they 
said,  "but  he  is  under  th©  reactionary  influence  of  Crown 
Prince  William,"  who,  at  that  time,  as  before  stated,  had 
grown  to  be  most  unpopular — ^the  best  hated  individual, 
it  was  claimed,  in  all  Berlin.  Conscious  of  this,  and  fear- 
ing  for  his  personal  safety,  he  was  ordered  to  proceed  to 
the  Ehinish  provinces  and  take  command  of  the  portion 
of  the  army  stationed  there.  This  order  elicited  a  violent 
protest  from  some  of  the  most  prominent  men  and  sup- 
porters of  the  King  in  these  provinces.  The  order  was 
finally  withdrawn,  and  the  King  issued  a  decree  in  which 
he  promised  to  use  his  influence  with  the  other  German 
powers  to  meet  and  reform  the  Federal  Constitution.  This 
decree  pleased  the  people,  and  in  their  gratitude  they  hur- 
ried in  throngs  to  the  palace  to  congratulate  him.  The 
King  appeared  upon  the  balcony,  bowed  his  acknowledg- 
ments, and  retired.    The  people  remained,  however,  and 


after  some  time  the  request  to  disperse  was  answered  from 
a  thousand  throats :  "Away  with  the  military ! " 

While  some  of  the  leaders  hastened  to  the  King  to 
consult  w^ith  him,  two  shots  were  fired,  and  the  cry, 
"  Treason !  treason ! "  was  raised  by  the  excited  populace. 
Flying  to  arms,  they  immediately  began  to  erect  barri- 
cades. They  were  attacked  by  the  military  on  March 
18th,  and  the  battle  renewed  next  day.  Canister  was 
used,  and  the  revolutionists  were  mowed  down  without 
discretion.  Along  in  the  afternoon,  a  deputation  of  both 
loyal  and  liberal  leaders  appeared  before  the  King,  to 
impress  upon  him  the  necessity  of  stopping  further  blood- 
shed. The  King  reluctantly  complied,  and  withdrew  the 
troops  from  Berlin.  This  was  interpreted  as  a  concession 
and  was  claimed  as  a  great  popular  victory,  which  the 
rioters  wished  to  intensify  by  compelling  the  King  and 
Queen  to  view  the  ghastly  work  done  by  the  army. 
Transporting  about  two  hundred  of  the  bodies  of  those 
who  had  been  shot  to  the  royal  palace,  the  King  and 
Queen  were  requested  to  appear  and  honor  the  dead, 
which  they  did  without  hesitation,  the  King  respectfully 
removing  his  hat  during  the  oixieal.  From  the  King 
their  indignation  was  now  transferred  to  Prince  William, 
whom  they  accused  (erroneously,  as  before  stated)  of  hav- 
ing issued  the  order  to  fire  upon  the  people.  The  origin 
of  this  charge  was  that  William  had  urged  his  brother  to 
maintain  his  dignity,  and  not  to  quail  before  the  mob. 
He  had,  also,  advised  him  to  give  the  people,  without 
hesitation,  the  Constitution  they  were  clamoring  for. 
That  this  was  his  attitude  was  stated  by  the  officers  of 
his  staff,  who  solemnly  averred,  that  during  the  time  the 
emeute  was  raging,  "  he  refused  to  give  any  order  what- 


ever,  even  upon  the  most  pressing  occasion,  always  reply- 
ing, ^I  have  no  orders  to  give  I ' "  So  that  the  sobriquet, 
''^ Kartdtschen  Prince^^  (Canister  Prince),  which  w^ 
given  him  at  the  time,  was  not  deserved.  The  odium 
attached  to  this  act,  notwithstanding,  finally  alarming  the 
friends  of  the  Prince,  the  King  sent  him  upon  a  mission 
to  England,  William  refusing  to  go  until  it  could  be 
shown  he  had  not  fled  to  escape  injury  to  his  person. 
While  in  London  he  was  not  idle,  but,  enjoying  the  soci- 
ety of  Peel,  Palraerston  and  Lord  Eussell,  he  had  an 
excellent  opportunity  to  carefully  examine  the  methods 
of  the  English  government.  These  days  of  exile  were 
for  him  invaluable,  because  Kings  never  advance  in 
earnest  except  under  the  spur  of  necessity.  And  if  this 
few  months'  sojourn  in  that  wonderful  country  did  not 
send  him  back  to  Prussia  an  enthusiastic  admirer  of  Eng- 
land's representative  form  of  government,  it  furnished 
him  with. the  evidence  that  liberty  is  not  inconsistent 
with  monarchical  institutions.  That  these  were  his  im- 
pressions is  seen  in  the  following  letter,  written  to  the 
King  on  his  return  journey  to  Berlin : 

"  I  beg  respectfully  to  inform  your  Majesty  that,  in 
accordance  with  the  commands  imparted  to  me,  I  have 
quitted  London,  and  am  at  present  on  the  Continent.  I 
deem  this  a  most  opportune  moment  for  giving  renewed 
expression  to  the  sentiments,  already  well  known  to  yom* 
Majesty,  with  which  I  return  to  my  native  country.  I 
venture  to  hope  that  the  free  institutions,  to  found  which 
still  more  firmly  your  Majesty  has  convoked  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  people,  vrill,  with  God's  gracious  aid, 
become  more  and  more  developed  to  the  benefit  of 
Prussia.     I  will  devote  all  my  powers  sincerely  and 


faithfully  to  this  development,  and  look  forward  to  the 
time  when  I  shall  accord  to  the  Constitution,  about  to  be 
promulgated  after  conscientious  consultation  between 
your  Majesty  and  your  people,  such  recognition  as  shall 
be  prescribed  to  the  Heir-Apparent  by  Constitutional 

In  the  meantime,  the  revolution  was  making  rapid 
progress  in  Germany.  The  report  was  circulated  that  the 
King  of  Prussia  had  been  seen  riding  through  the  streets 
of  Berlin,  decorated  with  the  national  colors  of  black,  red 
and  gold,  and  had  publicly  declared,  that  ''  Prussia  must 
henceforth  be  merged  into  Germany." 

On  March  31st,  the  Vorparlament  (Preparatory  Par- 
liament), composed  of  the  members  of  the  different  rep- 
resentative assemblies  of  the  states,  met  at  Frankfort.  On 
the  same  occasion  the  old  Diet  of  the  German  confeder- 
ation of  princes  assembled  in  the  same  city,  and  adopted 
an  order  establishing  a  German  Parliament  upon  the  basis 
of  universal  suffrage.  -      y 

On  the  28th  of  May,  Prince  "William,  who  had  returned 
to  Berlin,  publicly  declared:  "A  clear  conscience  alone 
has  enabled  me  to  live  through  what  has  recently  befallen 
me,  and  with  a  clear  conscience  I  return  to  ray  father- 
land.  I  have  all  the  time  hoped  that  the  day  of  truth 
would  dawn.  At  last  it  has  dawned.  Meanwhile  much 
has  been  changed  in  our  country.  The  King  has  willed 
that  it  should  be  so;  the  King's  will  is  sacred  to  me ;  I  am 
the  first  of  his  subjects,  and  adhere  to  these  new  con- 
ditions with  all  my  heart;  but  justice,  order,  and  law 
must  govern,  not  anarchy — ^against  this  last  I  will  strive 
with  my  whole  might.    That  is  my  calling  in  life." 

The  Prince    was   even    prevailed    upon   to  take  a 


seat  in  the  new  National  Parliament,  to  which  he  had 
been  elected  in  his  absence.  At  the  opening  of  the  as- 
sembly, he  heartily  welcomed  his  colleagues,  and  gave  his 
assurance  that  he  would  conscientiously  fulfill  liis  duties 
as  the  first  subject  of  the  King? 

It  could  well  be  anticipated,  knowing  the  leaning  of  the 
King  of  Prussia,  that  the  concession  made  by  him  under 
the  pressure  of  events  over  which  he  had  no  control,  would 
not  be  received  with  the  same  satisfaction  by  the  people 
as  if  made  upon  his  own  volition.  His  good  faith  was 
questioned  by  many,  not  only  in  Prussia,  but  all  over  Ger- 
many, who  declared  he  could  not  consider  himself  in  duty 
bound  to  keep  promises  made  under  duress.  This  senti- 
ment was  fostered  by  the  extremists  with  pet  theories,  by 
demagogues  w^ho  had  nothing  to  lose  but  everything  to 
gain  by  revolution,  but  principally  by  the  adherents  of  Aus- 
tria, who  improved  the  opportunity  to  intensify  the  anti- 
Prussian  sentiment  among  the  people  of  Southern  Ger- 
many. Kiots  and  bloody  conflicts  between  the  people  of 
Prussia  and  elsewhere  were  the  natural  result  of  such  a 
state  of  conflicting  public  sentiment.  Prince  William  had 
retired  from  public  view  and  was  quietly  living  in  Babels- 
berg,  while  political  apathy  and  indifference  seemed  to 
have  taken  possession  of  the  King.  The  German  Parliament 
had  committed  the  blunder  of  electing  the  clever  sports- 
man. Archduke  John  of  Austria,  to  the  position  of  Reichs- 
verweser  (Vicar  of  the  German  realm),  commander-in-chief 
of  the  armies  of  the  German  confederation,  and  charged 
with  the  execution  of  the  decrees  of  the  German  Parlia- 
ment. Archduke  John  assumed  the  office  with  great  pomp ; 
but  the  armies  he  was  to  command  were  not  forthcoming, 
and  the  decrees  of  Parliament  remained,  consequently, 

AS   CROWN   PfimOE  OF  PRUSSIA.  287 

unexecuted ;  nor  did  this  unwillingness  on  the  part  of  the 
German  sovereigns  to  assist  him  seem  to  disturb  him  much, 
but  rather  to  give  him  an  excuse  for  not  acting.  He  was 
an  Austrian  and  was  elected  through  Austrian  influence ; 
consequently,  bound  to  prevent  the  very  thing  the  re- 
form Parliament  had  charged  him  with,  to-wit :  National 
liberty  and  union. 

The  hopes  of  every  patriot  of  Germany  were  now  cen- 
tered upon  Prussia,  but  the  King  seemed  not  disposed  to  aid 
in  strengthening  the  federal  power  as  long  as  Austria  was 
at  its  head.  Rome,  it  was  claimed,  was  also  active  in  en- 
deavors to  diminish  as  far  as  possible  the  influence  of  the 
Protestant  power  in  the  north  of  Germany.  Efforts  had 
been  made  by  a  highly  esteemed  Catholic  prelate,  Herr 
Wessenberg,  to  establish  a  separate  German  Catholic 
Church.  Ultramontanism  (beyond  the  Alps)  was  at  its 
height  in  Austria  and  some  of  the  smaller  German  states. 
Indifference  and  inaction  in  Prussia,  and  impotency  at  the 
head  of  the  German  Parliament:  such  was  the  condition 
of  the  confederacy  in  the  spring  of  1849.  In  the  mean- 
time disturbances  had  taken  place  in  Schleswig-Holstein. 

Denmark,  by  the  possession  of  Ilolstein,  had  become  a 
member  of  the  German  Confederation,  and  her  population 
sympathized  more  with  Germany  than  with  Denmark, 
which  sentiment  took  the  form  of  an  open  revolt  in  1848, 
and  the  King  of  Prussia  was  appealed  to  for  assistance. 
Prussian  troops  under  General  Wrangle  were  sent  against 
the  Danes,  who  drove  them  from  Holstein,  but  Russia 
having  protested,  an  armistice  was  signed  at  Malmo.  The 
armistice,  however,  could  not  be  completed  unless  ratified 
by  the  National  Parliament  at  Frankfort.  Its  introduction 
was  received  with  noisy  demonstrations  of  disapproval,  and 


only  after  a  lengthy  and  most  acrimonioiis  debate  between 
the  liberal  and  conservative  members  of  the  assembly, 
was  it  finally  ratified.  In  the  spring  and  summer  of  1849, 
Prussian  troops  again  entered  the  Duchies,  but  withdrew 
in  1850,  and,  together  with  Austria,  sided  with  Denmark, 
when  by  this  coalition  the  Duchies  were  completely  sub- 

This  seeming  subserviency  of  the  central  power  of  Ger- 
many to  Russia's  dictation,  created  the  most  intense  excite- 
ment among  the  people,  which  found  expression  in  a  mass- 
meeting  of  liberals,  held  in  an  open  field  near  Frankfort, 
wlien  they  resolved  to  march,  on  the  day  following,  in  force 
before  St.  Paul's  Church,  where  the  Parliament  was  in  ses- 
sion, and  there  demand  that  the  armistice  be  declared  null 
and  void,  and  in  case  of  refusal,  to  disperse  Parliament 
by  force. 

This  plan  was  frustrated,  however,  by  the  timely  ar- 
rival of  a  body  of  Prussian  troops,  after  a  short  but 
bloody  encounter  with  the  revolutionists  in  the  streets  of 



IN  Southern  Germany,  especially  in  Baden,  the  revo- 
lutionary element,  led  by  the  well-known  Frederick 
Hecker,  was  not  inclined  to  await  the  slow  development  of 
free  institutions  through  Parliamentary  action,  but  resolved 
to  strike  for  "  liberty,  equality  and  fraternity "  at  once. 
Hecker  had  been  a  member  of  the  Eepresentative  As- 
sembly of  Baden  for  six  years,  and  on  every  occasion  he 
espoused  the  cause  of  the  people  with  enthusiasm  and  en- 
ergy. But  he  was  far  in  advance  of  the  people,  and  when, 
in  April,  1848,  he  declared  the  Republic  at  (Constance,  his 
followers  were  few.  But  undaunted,  and  in  the  firm  be- 
lief that  the  people  would  flock  to  his  standard,  he  marched 
with  an  army  of  1,200  men  to  Freiburg,  with  the  intention 
of  declaring  a  Republic  there ;  here,  also,  he  found  but  little 
enthusiasm  for  his  undertaking,  and  after  the  first  en- 
counter with  some  regular  troops  from  Baden  and  Hesse, 
he  was  defeated,  and  with  a  handful  of  his  followers  re- 
tired across  the  Rhine  into  Switzerland.  In  September 
following,  another  attempt  to  revolutionize  Southern  Ger- 
many was  made  by  Gustavo  von  Struve,  which  failed 
more  ignominiously  than  had  Hecker's.  During  Novem- 
ber, the  liberals  of  Vienna  had  raised  the  standard  of 
revolution,  but  the  Austrian  army,  composed  of  national- 
ities inimical  to  Germany,  had  no  sympathy  for  the  revo- 
lutionists, and  were  consequently  not  only  ready,  but  eager, 
to  suppress  the  popular  movement  there.  The  struggle 
was  short  and  decisive,  the  noble  Robert  Blum,  a  liberal 



member  of  the  German  Parliament,  was  shot  by  order  of 
the  bloodthii^sty  General  Wendischgratz,  while  other  pat- 
riots, among  whom  were  Oswald  Ottendorffer,  the  pres- 
ent publisher  of  the  New  York  Staats  Zeitung^  and  Hein- 
rich  Binder,  editor  of  the  New  York  Pitck^  were  com- 
pelled to  fly  from  their  native  land. 

The  revolution  in  Hungary  came  nearest  being  success- 
ful of  any  that  was  attempted  at  this  time  in  Europe. 
The  Magyars  were  thoroughly  organized,  and  under  such 
leaders  as  Louis  Kossuth,  Bern  and  others,  the  liberal 
army  numbered  200,000  strong.  They  would  have  been 
successful  had  not  Bussia  come  to  the  aid  of  Francis  Jo- 
seph with  a  large  army,  and  decisively  defeated  the  Hun- 
garians at  Temesvar,  when  many  of  the  rebel  officers  were 
court-martialed  and  shot  by  the  infamous  Ilaynau. 

The  revolution  which  followed  in  Baden,  although  un- 
successful, left  its  impress  not  only  upon  the  countries  di- 
rectly concerned,  but  also  indirectly  upon  the  affairs  of 
the  United  States,  as  in  course  of  time  most  of  the  promi- 
nent actors  found  a  refuge  and  permanent  home  here. 

Although  the  Constitutional  Parliament  had  succeeded 
after  much  discussion  in  adopting  a  series  of  articles  em- 
bodying the  framework  for  a  future  constitution,  the  peo- 
ple, collectively,  of  Germany,  were  not  satisfied,  nor  was 
it  expected  this  constitution  would  be  accepted  by  the  va- 
rious rulers. 

On  the  28th  of  March,  1849,  the  imperial  crown  of  Ger- 
many was  offered  by  the  majority  of  Parliament  to  the 
King  of  Prussia,  Frederick  William  IV.;  the  smaller  states 
accepted  the  choice,  but  Bavaria,  Wurtemberg,  Hanover, 
and  Saxony  refused ;  Austria  formally  protested,  and  after 
some  hesitation,  Frederick  William  himself  declined  be- 


cause  the  Diet  of  the  princes  and  rulers  had  not  offered 
it  to  hira. 

Thus  were  the  fruits  of  a  whole  year's  Parliamentary 
labor  lost,  and  tlie  hopes  of  the  people  destroyed.  All 
further  efforts  by  these  means  appeared  now  like  mock- 
ery, and  the  prolonged  deliberations  of  Parliament  hence- 
forth seemed  but  a  farce. 

There  was  but  one  course  left,  and  that  was — Revolu- 

The  Revolutionists — revolutionists  in  so  far  as  they 
were  determined  to  compel  the  German  princes  to  give 
them  a  constitutional  government  as  they  had  promised, 
commenced  operations  early  in  May,  1849,  with  the  expul- 
sion of  the  Grand  Duke  of  Baden,  who,  with  his  family 
and  court,  and  the  higher  civil  and  military  officers,  de- 
parted in  great  haste  at  the  sudden  uprising  of  his  people, 
who  were  now  fully  aroused  and  in  bitter  earnest.  The 
rank  and  file  of  the  army,  and  a  few  officers  of  lower 
grade,  joined  the  people  and  established  a  provisional  gov- 
ernment at  Carlsruhe ;  the  places  of  the  deserted  officers 
were  filled  from  the  ranks,  and  the  troops  marched  to  the 
frontiers  to  resist  the  invasion  which  would  be  sure  to  fol- 
low, unless  equal  success  should  attend  simultaneous  move- 
ments elsewhere.  The  adjoining  Bavarian  province  across 
the  Rhine  followed  the  example  of  its  neighbors  in  Baden, 
and  the  people  took  possession  of  the  offices  left  vacant 
by  the  departed  functionaries.  The  government  in  Baden 
was  first  represented  by  a  General  Committee  (Landesaus- 
chuss)  in  May,  consisting  of  twenty-four  members,  of 
which  Lorenz  Brentano  was  President  and  Amand  Gogg 
Vice-President;  on  the  1st  of  June  that  committee  was 
substituted  by  a  Provisional  Government  of  five  members, 


Brentano,  G5gg,  Peter,  Fielder  and  Sigel,  and  towards 
the  end  of  the  war  the  political  power  was  turned  over  to 
an  Executive  of  three  members,  (Dictator)  Brentano, 
Gogg  and  Werner.  Besides  this,  a  Constitutional  Con- 
vention was  called,  consisting  of  seventy-four  members, 
of  whom  sixty-three  appeared  at  the  first  meeting;  it, 
however,  adjourned  sine  die  on  the  18th  of  June,  after 
having  appointed  an  Executive  of  threcj  already  men- 
tioned. The  garrisons  (excepting  that  in  the  Fortress  of 
Landau)  fraternized  with  the  people.  Volunteers  in  great 
numbers  poured  in  from  all  parts  of  the  country.  Gen.  Si- 
gel  raised,  organized,  and  as  far  as  was  practicable,  equipped 
the  revolutionary  array,  which  was  under  his  command 
during  the  first  period  of  the  war,  until  Mieroslawski 
was  appointed  Commander-in-Chief,  and  then  Gen.  Sigel 
himself,  although  Secretary  of  War,  entered  the  field 
as  the  Adjutant-General  of  that  officer.  An  uprising 
had  taken  place  in  Dresden,  but  was  suppressed,  and  the 
fugitives  from  Saxony  joined  the  insurgents  in  Baden  and 
Rhinish  Bavaria.  These  two  countries  agreed  to  form 
an  alliance  for  mutual  defense,  under  the  direction  and 
military  leadership  of  Baden.  Under  this  agreement  the 
military  forces  of  the  two  countries  were  organized  into  six 
divisions,  with  a  total  strength  for  active  duty  of  about  25,- 
000  men.  Those  of  Rhinish  Bavaria  formed  the  Sixth  Di- 
vision, under  the  command  of  Gen.  Sznayde.  Ten  thou- 
sand volunteers  more  of  the  fugitives  from  Saxony  were  or- 
ganized ;  soldiers  deserted  in  many  places  and  swelled  the 
ranks  of  the  Revolutionists,  who,  for  a  period  of  about  a 
month  had  things  all  their  own  way. 

Meantime,  Prussia,  Hesse-Darmstadt  and  Nassau  gath- 
ered up  their  forces,  70,000  infantry,  7,000  cavalry  and 


126  pieces  of  artillery,  under  command  of  Prince  William 
of  Prussia,  and  concentrated  them  along  the  northern  bor- 
ders of  Baden  and  the  adjoining  states  in  rebellion  ;  a  few 
preliminary  skirmishes  took  place  on  the  southern  frontier 
of  Darmstadt,  and  finally,  in  the  latter  part  of  June,  the 
armies  of  invasion  approached  in  force  along  both  shores 
of  the  Ehine,  and  also  crossed  the  Bavarian  line  in  two 
columns  from  the  north  and  west,  converging  as  they 
advanced.  The  fortress  of  Landau  had  remained  in  pos- 
session of  the  loyal  troops  of  Bavaria,  notwithstanding  a 
bold  attempt  to  capture  it,  and  with  such  a  dangerous  en- 
emy in  the  rear,  it  was  not  considered  safe  to  risk  any  de- 
cisive engagement  in  its  vicinity ;  the  Kevolutionary  forces 
retreated,  therefore,  slowly  before  the  invading  armies, 
and  after  a  few  unimportant  engagements,  crossed  the 
Ehine  opposite  Carlsruhe,  and  joined  the  better-organized 
and  much  larger  forces  in  the  Duchy  of  Baden.  The 
plan  was  to  surround  the  army  of  the  Eevolutionists  by  a 
concentric  movement  from  the  north,  east  and  west. 
The  Eevolutionary  army  was  at  that  time  posted  in  the 
fork  of  the  Neckar  and  Rhine,  from  Mannheim  to  Heidel- 
berg, with  a  small  detached  corps  further  east  in  the 
mountains,  and  consisted  of  about  25,000  men,  of  whom 
15,000  were  revolted  regular  troops  who  had  taken  sides 
with  the  people.  The  others  were  volunteers,  hastily  as- 
sembled and  armed.  Could  they  have  procured  arms 
enough,  they  could  have  put  many  more  in  the  field — 
50,000,  easily — but  their  resources  were  limited. 

Against  the  projected  movement  of  the  army  under 
the  Prince  of  Prussia  Gen.  Mieroslawski  proposed  to  hold 
his  position,  defend  the  line  of  the  Neckar,  and  throw 
himself  against  the  first  corps  which  would  pass  that  river 


or  the  Shine.  He  allowed  the  Prince  of  Prussia  to  cross 
the  Shine  from  the  fortress  of  Germersheim,  but  on  the 
same  day,  which  was  the  20th  of  June,  marched  against 
him  with  15,000  men,  10  squadrons  of  cavah*y,  and  28 
pieces  of  artillery,  leaving  about  10,000  men  to  guard 
the  line  of  the  Neckar  against  Von  Groeben  and  Von 
Peuker,  and  to  protect  the  crossing  of  the  Shine,  in 
the  neighborhood  of  Mannheim  against  the  corps  of  the 
Prince  of  Thum  and  Taxis.  When  the  Prince  of  Prussia 
crossed  near  Germersheim,  he  left  one  division  near  Wie- 
senthal  and  Waghausel,  and  with  three  divisions  marched 
east  toward  Graben.  On  the  morning  of  the  21st  of  June 
the  revolutionists  assaulted  the  division  left  near  Wag- 
hausel, and  totally  defeated  it.  During  this  affair  the 
present  Emperor  of  Prussia,  who  had  accompanied  his 
father,  William,  on  this  expedition,  was  slightly  wounded. 
After  another  engagement  near  Upstadt  between  the 
Sevolutionary  troops  from  Bavaria  and  the  Prussians,  the 
combined  forces  of  the  rebellion  took  a  second  position 
near  the  fortress  Eastadt  and  behind  the  river  Murgh, 
where,  on  the  28th,  29th  and  30th  a  battle  was  fought 
against  the  united  three  corps  of  the  enemy.  The  troops 
fought  very  bravely,  but  while  they  were  fighting  in  front 
Von  Peuker  marched  into  their  rear  and  compelled  them 
to  change  their  position  to  meet  him.  In  brief,  they  were 
overpowered.  After  that  battle,  and  when  Ehe  troops 
were  on  the  retreat  to  Offenberg,  some  dissatisfaction 
arose  in  regard  to  the  management  of  the  army  by  Gen. 
Mieroslawski,  and  besides,  he  had  given  up  all  hope  of 
success.  He  therefore  resigned,  and  Gen.  Sigel  was  again 
put  in  command  of  the  forces.  They  made  great  exer- 
tions to  retrieve  their  losses  and  continue  the  war,  but 


the  Revolutionary  army  was  not  now  over  8,000  strong. 
Political  dissensions  broke  out  among  the  leaders,  whicli 
lead  finally  to  a  separation  of  the  troops.  A  large  part 
of  the  army  took  shelter  in  the  fortress  of  Bastadt, 
where  they  withstood  a  siege  of  nearly  a  month,  while 
the  remainder,  constantly  diminished  by  desertion,  re- 
treated slowly  before  the  advancing  Prussians  and  other 
German  troops,  through  the  Black  Forest  to  the  borders  of 
Switzerland,  where  they  were  disarmed  by  the  Swiss 
authorities  and  permitted  to  take  refuge  in  the  different 
Cantons  of  the  Confederation.  Of  the  army  of  25,000 
men,  about  10,000  crossed  the  Ehine  into  Switzerland,  and 
now  the  work  of  "  pacification "  and  revenge  under  the 
special  care  and  authority  of  Prince  WiUiam  began.  Prus- 
sian drumhead  courts-martial  took  charge  of  the  unfor- 
tunate prisoners  who  had  laid  down  their  arms  and  were 
now  at  the  mercy  of  the  conqueror.  Of  those  who  had 
surrendered  at  Rastadt,  nineteen  were  sentenced  to  death 
and  shot.  Three  were  shot  in  Mannheim,  five  in  Freiburg 
and  one  in  Landau ;  sixty-six  were  sentenced  to  ten  years'  im- 
prisonment ;  besides  this,  10,000  persons  were  criminally 
prosecuted,  and,  when  found  guilty,  their  property  was 
confiscated.  During  1849  and  1850  Baden  alone  lost  100,000 
inhabitants  by  fleeing  from  the  hands  of  their  persecut- 
ors or  by  voluntary  exile. 

The  rank  and  file  were  quartered  and  subsisted  at  the 
expense  of  the  Swiss  Government,  until  they  gradually 
took  advantage  of  the  proffered  pardon  and  returned 
home.  The  leaders,  who  could  not  return,  settled  down 
temporarily  in  various  parts  of  Switzerland;  but  in  the 
spring  of  1850  the  Swiss  Government,  under  pressure  from 
its  surrounding  neighbors,  induced,  under  the  promise  of 


assistance,  the  greater  number  to  leave  the  country.  A 
general  exodus  followed;  Holland,  Belgium,  South 
America  and  England  were  sought  by  many,  but  by  far 
the  greater  number  embarked  for  the  United  States  at  once. 
Says  M.  J.  Becker,  one  of  the  Forty-eighters  and  now 
Chief  Engineer  of  the  St.  Louis  &  Pittsburgh  Eailroad 
Company,  and  who  with  GeneralSigel  has  furnished  the  fol- 
lowing biographies  of  the  Revolutionists  who  fled  to  this 
country :  "  The  struggles,  hardships,  privation  and  suffer- 
ings endured  by  most  of  these  men  during  the  earlier 
days  of  their  American  exj)erience  would  form  extremely 
*  interesting,  but  in  many  instances  very  sad,  chapters  in  the 
histories  of  their  checkered  lives.  Many  fell  by  the  wayside 
exhausted,  and  died  of  want  in  the  crowded  cities  of  the 
Eastern  coast;  some,  in  utter  despair,  cut  short,  with 
their  own  hands,  the  hopeless  misery  of  their  wretched 
existence.  That  the  occupations  which  some  were  forced 
to  accept  did  not  in  all  cases  afford  opportunities  for  im- 
proving the  advantages  of  their  earlier  education  may  be 
readily  imagined. 

Says  Mr.  Becker,  "  I  remember  well,  that  in  my  own 
case,  while  I  was  trinmiing  toothsome  bunches  of  bright 
red  early^  radishes,  and  tying  up  bundles  of  fragrant  young 
onions  for  the  daily  market,  long  before  the  rising  of  the 
summer  sun,  upon  a  garden  farm  on  Long  Island,  I  often 
bewailed  the  misdirected  applications  of  my  early 
youth ;  and  even  the  mathematical  tracing  of  the  parallel 
furrows  for  the  transplanting  of  beets  and  cabbages,  and 
the  engineering  precision  displayed  in  the  setting  out  of 
the  succulent  tomato  vines,  failed  to  satisfy  my  profes- 
sional ambition ;  nor  did  I  consider  the  compensation  of 
four  dollars  per  month  for  fifteen  hours  of  daily  toil  an 


adequate  reward  for  skilled  labor  like  this.  It  is  true, 
I  had  board  and  lodging  besides.  The  board,  I  am  bound 
to  say,  was  inferior  in  kind,  though  ample  in  quantity ; 
but  the  lodging  was  on  a  most  liberal  ^cale.  I  had  the 
whole  of  Long  Island  to  sleep  on,  with  millions  of  mos- 
quitoes sweetly  singing  their  lullabys, 

"  One  day  I  met,  in  the  lower  part  of  New  York,  a 
young  sculptor,  who  in  his  early  youth  had  been  a  school- 
fellow of  mine,  and  who,  while  pursuing  his  studies  at  the 
Academy  of  Fine  Arts  in  Paris,  had  been  drawn  into  the 
common  whirlpool  of  rebellion,  and  after  drifting  about 
for  a  while  in  Belgium  and  England,  had  arrived  in 
America  a  short  time  before.  Although  still  quite  young, 
he  had  achieved  remarkable  success,  and  had  been 
rewarded  with  a  prize  medal  in  recognition  of  his  talent 
and  genuis.  We  were  glad  to  see  each  other.  After  a 
rapid  exchange  of  experiences,  I  ventured  to  ask  how  he 
was  prospering  in  his  profession.  *  Ah,  you  should  come 
to  my  studio  and  see  for  yourself,'  he  said ; '  I  am  just  now 
engaged  in  putting  the  last  finishing  touches  upon  some 
magnificent  masterpieces  of  plastic  art;  you  must  see 
them  before  they  leave  my  studio.'  Eesponding  to  his 
invitation,  I  found  him,  a  few  days  afterwards,  in  a  low, 
dingy  back  room  of  a  small  carpenter  shop  in  Greenwich 
Street,  busily  engaged  in  rubbing  down  with  sandpaper 
the  colossal  limbs  of  a  wooden  Pocahontas,  destined  to 
adorn  the  entrance  door  of  a  tobacco  shop." 

But  in  accordance  with  the  law  of  natural  selection,  in 
the  universal  struggle  for  existence,  the  fittest  will  always 
survive :  and  the  following  sketches  of  some  of  these  men 
of  Baden  prove  the  axiom. 

General  Von  Mieroslawski.  The  General  was  a 
highly  educated  man,  full  of  fire  and  courage,  a  great 


speaker,  and  excellent  strategist;  but  he  did  not  under- 
stand the  language  of  the  people  of  the  country  and  of 
the  soldiers  with  whom  he  had  to  act,  and  had  not  suf- 
ficient experience  in  the  tactical  management  of  troops. 
He  was  very  patriotic,  and  served  the  Revolutionary  cause 
with  great  faithfulness.  He  was  at  that  time  34  years  of 
age,  had  taken  part  in  the  Polish  Revolution  of  1831,  in 
the  insurrections  in  Posen  and  Sicily  in  1848,  and  has  writ- 
ten several  works,  among  them  one  on  "Revolutionary 
War,"  which  is  regarded  as  the  best  of  its  kind.  Mieroslaw- 
ski  again  took  part  in  an  insurrectionary  movement  in  Po- 
land in  1863,  and  died  in  Paris  1878. 

General  Sigel  crossed  the  Rhine  at  Eglisau,  near  the 
Canton  of  Schafhausen,  on  the  11th  day  of  July,  with 
4,000  men  and  32  guns,  lived  an  exile  in  Switzerland, 
Italy  and  England,  whence  he  emigrated  to  America  in 
1862  (after  the  c(yup  d^etat  of  Louis  Napoleon)  and  ar- 
rived at  New  York  on  the  5th  of  May,  where  he  soon 
found  employment  as  a  civil  engineer.  When  war  was 
declared  between  the  North  and  the  South,  he  was  placed 
in  command  of  a  brigade  in  Missouri.  His  famous  retreat 
from  Carthage,  in  Missouri,  in  July,  1861,  before  Governor 
Jackson's  superior  forces,  was  a  skillfully-executed  artil- 
lery maneuver — this  being  the  arm  of  the  service  in 
which  Sigel  had  been  especiaUy  trained.  At  Wilson's 
Creek  and  Pea  Ridge  his  professional  acquirements  again 
came  in  good  play  on  a  limited  scale,  and  brought  his 
name  into  such  prominence,  that,  when  the  Army  of  Vir- 
ginia was  organized  in  June,  1862,  under  Pope,  Sigel  was 
assigned  to  the  command  of  the  First  Corps,  after  Fremont, 
who  was  unwilling  to  serve  under  Pope,  had  resigned. 
Between  Pope  and  Sigel  frequent  misunderstandings  arose 

Kdifer  IPiHtelm  T. 
Emperor  WUllua  I. 

THE   liEVOLUTlON  IN   BADEN.  305 

regarding  the  meaning  of  ordere  on  the  one  side,  and  their 
interpretation  and  execution  on  the  other,  which  led  to 
ill-natured  reproaches  on  the  part  of  Pope,  with  com 
plimentary  returns  by   Sigel. 

After  the  second  battle  at  Bull  Eun,  Pope  was  re- 
lieved by  McClellan  just  prior  to  the  Antietam  campaign, 
during  which  campaign  Sigel  commanded  the  Eleventh 
corps  of  the  reorganized  army,  a  circumstance  which 
goes  to  prove  tliat  Pope's  war  upon  Sigel  was  entirely 
the  result  of  personal  prejudice. 

Since  the  war  the  General  has  lived  in  New  York. 
Onc^  or  twice  he  has  taken  part  in  political  campaigns, 
speaking  to  the  Germans,  and  defending  the  Democratic 
side  of  the  issue  since  Tilden's  nomination.  He  has  held 
various  offices  in  the  City  of  New  York,  Register  of  Deeds 
and  on  the  Board  of  Public  Works,  and  is  now  serving  the 
Government  of  the  United  States  as  Pension  Agent  for 
the  district  of  New  York  City.  He  is  a  man  of  great 
acquirements,  speaking  several  languages,  and  a  writer  of 
merit,  a  genial  gentleman  and  honorable  man. 

Fbedebick  Heckeb.  Hecker,  mortified  and  sorely  dis- 
appointed, took  refuge  in  America,  and  settled,  with  a 
few  of  his  immediate  friends,  near  Belleville,  in  Illinois. 

He  had  been  the  leader  and  Parliamentary  champion 
of  the  people  in  that  first  crude  and  primitive  specimen  of 
representative  government  in  Germany — the  Chamber  of 
Deputies  of  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden — for  six  j^ears 
prior  to  1848.  Eloquent,  sincere,  enthusiastically  devoted 
to  the  people  by  whom  he  had  been  chosen,  he  enjoyed,  in 
return,  a  popularity  seldom  gained  by  mortal  man.  Of 
handsome  presence,  graceful  figure  and  impressive  coun- 
tenance,  frank  in  speech,  prompt  in  action,  he  was  idol- 


ized  by  men  and  women  alike.  The  famous  Hecker  Song 
could  be  heard  upon  the  highways  and  byways  of  South- 
ern Germany,  in  village  and  city,  sung  early  and  late,  by 
young  and  by  old,  with  enthusiastic  fervor,  and  encored 
to  the  echo. 

Of  sanguine  temperament  himself,  personally  brave 
and  fearless  to  a  fault,  it  is  not  surprising  that  he,  flattered 
by  every  possible  manifestation  of  popular  devotion,  and 
believing  firmly  in  the  righteousness  of  his  cause,  did  not 
only  count  upon  the  fullest  support  of  his  own  people,  but 
confidently  expected  to  win  over  to  his  side  the  very  sol- 
diers who  were  sent  to  destroy  him.  How  deep  must 
have  been  his  grief,  how  sore  his  mortification,  at  the  sad 
failure  of  his  effort.  * 

When  our  own  Rebellion  broke  out,  Frederick  Hecker 
hastened  to  the  defense  of  his  adopted  country  with  a  full 
regiment  of  men  enlisted  by  himself.  The  Eighty-second 
Illinois,  or  the  Hecker  regiment,  as  it  was  called,  composed 
principally  of  German  soldiers,  did  credit  to  itself  and  to 
its  commander  throughout  the  war,  from  which  he  returned 
at  its  close,  with  a  severe  wound,  and  crippled  for  life. 

The  honest  sinceritv  and  enthusiastic  fervor  with 
which  he  performed  his  duties,  and  which  frequently  as- 
sumed a  degree  of  energy  bordering  on  vehemence,  led 
him  occasionally  into  ludicrous  and  embarrassing  situations. 

At  the  re-election  of  Abraham  Lincoln,  in  the  fall  of 
1864,  Hecker  ordered  his  regiment  out  in  full  dress,  armed 
and  equipped,  and  marched  the  men  to  the  polls,  with  bay- 
onets fixed,  drums  beating,  and  colors  flying;  and  the  sol- 
diers voted  for  "Old  Abe"  to  a  man.  When  Mr.  Lincoln, 
who  had  known  Hecker  weU  as  a  neighbor  in  Illinois, 
heard  of  this  he  felt  greatly  annoyed,  and  sent  for  bim| 


and  remonstrated  with  him  for  committing  such  a  flagrant 
breach  of  propriety.  Hecker  quite  seriously  and  earnestly 
contended  that  there  was  nothing  wrong  in  his  conduct;, 
if  it  was  proper  to  vote  at  all,  it  could  not  be  im2)roper  to 
do  it  in  good  style ;  and,  as  a  justifying  precedent,  he  told 
Mr.  Lincoln  that  in  the  days  of  ancient  Home  the  legions 
always  emphasized  their  sufifrage  by  striking  their  brazen 
shields  with  their  swords.  But  honest  "Old  Abe"  did  not 
seem  to  appreciate  the  application  and  failed  to  see  the 
similarity  between  a  regiment  of  Suckers  from  Western 
Illinois  and  a  Roman  legion;  nor  would  he  admit  the 
semblance  between  himself  and  an  imperial  Caesar. 

After  Hecker's  return  from  his  four  years'  service  in 
the  army,  he  found  that  the  quiet  life  on  the  farm  no 
longer  agreed  with  him ;  his  crippled  condition  interfered 
with  his  occupation,  and  the  idle  hours  dragged  heavily. 
For  a  season  he  sought  relief  and  diversion  in  a  lecturing 
tour,  but  met  with  indifferent  success ;  the  subjects  chosen 
for  his  discourses,  although  treated  with  consummate, 
scholarly  skill,  were  not  adapted  to  his  audiences ;  his  place 
was  the  tribune,  not  the  platform. 

Shortly  after  the  Franco-German  war  Hecker  made  a 
visit  to  his  old  home  in  Germany,  where  he  was  enthusias- 
tically received  by  his  former  friends  and  neighbors,  with 
whom  he  rejoiced  heartily  over  the  final  realization  of  his 
hopes,  the  recently-accomplished  uniiication  of  Germany. 

After  his  return  to  America  he  gradually  retired  from 
active  life  ;  the  infirmities  of  old  age,  attended  sometimes 
with  intense  suffering,  crept  on  apace,  and  he  died  a  few 
years  ago  at  his  country  home,  near  Belleville,  honored  by 
all  who  ever  knew  him,  for  his  uncompromising  honesty 
and  his  sterling  integrity. 


LoRENz  Brentano,  who  occupied,  during  the  insurrec- 
tion of  1848,  the  position  of  President  of  the  Provisional 
Government,  and  who  still  lives  in  Chicago,  was  bom  at 
Mannheim,  in  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden,  in  1813.  He 
received  a  classical  education,  studied  jurisprudence  at 
Heidelberg  and  Freiburg,  and  after  graduating  practiced 
law  before  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  State.  He  first  dis- 
tinguished himself  as  leading  counsel  for  the  defense  in 
the  celebrated  state  trial  against  Gustavo  von  Struve,  for 
high  treason.  After  attaining  the  legal  age  he  was  elected 
to  tlie  Chamber  of  Deputies,  where  he  soon  became  the 
recognized  leader  of  the  opposition  party. 

In  1848  he  was  elected  to  Parliament,  and  after  the 
outbreak  m  1848  he  became  President  of  the  Revolutionary 
Government,  for  which  he  was  condemned  in  contuma- 
ciajn  to  imprisonment  for  life.  After  his  emigration  to 
this  country  he  settled  upon  a  farm  in  Kalamazoo  County, 
Michigan ;  in  1859  he  removed  to  Chicago  and  commenced 
the  practice  of  law ;  in  1862  he  served  as  a  member  of  the 
Illinois  Legislature,  and  after  the  expiration  of  his  term 
he  became  a  member  of  the  Chicago  Board  of  Education. 

He  was  a  delegate,  in  1868,  to  the  National  Republi- 
can Convention  which  nominated  Grant  and  Colfax, 
before  which  time  he  was  also  editor-in-chief  and  prin- 
cipal proprietor  of  the  lUinola  Stdots  Zeitu?ig.  In  1869  he 
took  advantage  of  the  general  amnesty  and  paid  a  visit  to 
his  native  country,  from  which  he  returned  to  recover 
what  was  left  of  his  property  by  the  great  Chicago  fire. 

From  1871  to  1876  he  served  as  United  States  Consul 
at  Dresden,  and  afterwards  was  elected  to  the  46th  Con- 
gress as  a  member  from  the  Chicago  City  District. 

I  happened  to  be  present  in  the  winter  of  1848  at  a 


very  amusing  and  somewhat  exciting  scene,  in  which 
Brentano  played  a  conspicuous  part.  In  the  course  of  a 
speech,  which  he  delivered  on  this  occasion  in  Parliament, 
ho  alluded  in  rather  disrespectful  language  to  the  Crown 
Prince  of  Prussia  (the  late  Emperor),  who  had  just 
then  returned  from  his  short  exile  in  England,  when  a 
young  aristocratic  member,  a  nobleman  of  high  rank,  took 
exceptions  to  Brentano's  remarks,  and  in  a  greatly  excited 
manner  challenged  him  right  there  and  then  for  daring  to 
insult  the  brother  of  his  King.  Brentano  looked  calmly 
at  his  assailant,  and  said  in  a  quiet  and  dignified  tone : 
"Well,  if  this  little  case  between  the  Prince  and  myself  is 
to  be  settled  by  proxy,  I  will  send  my  coachman  to  fight 
you  ;  what  time  would  it  suit  you  to  meet  him?" 

Carl  Sohurz,  on  account  of  his  superior  education,  and 
by  virtue  of  his  unquestioned  talent  and  great  natural 
ability,  has  become  the  foremost  representative  German  in 
America.  The  self-sacrificing  devotion  which  he  displayed, 
when,  after  having  safely  escaped  capture,  he  bravely  risked 
his  own  life  in  the  rescue  of  his  imprisoned  friend,  Gott- 
fried Kinkel,  called  forth  the  exercise  of  the  highest 
courage  and  the  most  heroic  perseverance. 

At  the  commencement  of  the  Revolutionary  movement 
in  1848,  Schurz  was  a  student  at  the  University  of  Bonn, 
where  his  friend,  Professor  Kinkel,  was  reading  lectures  on 
literature.  The  outbreak  in  1849  brought  both  to  the  seat 
of  war,  where  Kinkel  enlisted  in  Willich's  corps  of  volun- 
teer^ and  fell,  during  the  battle  at  Ilastadt,into  the  hands 
of  the  Prussians,  dangerously  wounded.  Schurz  served 
as  aide  to  Frederick  Anneke,  who  had  assumed  command 
of  the  artiUery  in  the  fortress.  After  the  retreat  of  the 
army  from  the  field  around   Rastadt,  the  fortress  was 


invested  and  besieged,  and  finally  capitulated.  But  during 
the  night  preceding  the  final  surrender,  Sohurz  made  his 
escape  through  sewers  and  ditches  and  crossed  the  Rhine  in 
safety.  Kinkel,  who  was  a  Prussian  subject  and  soldier,  and 
who  had  been  captured  while  fighting  against  the  army  of 
his  sovereign,  was  sentenced  to  be  shot,  and  would  have 
been  executed  if  he  had  not  been  rescued  by  Schurz's  dar- 
ing effort.  They  finally  landed  in  England,  where  Kinkel 
remained ;  but  Schurz  soon  came  to  America  and  settled 
at  Watertown,  in  Wisconsin.  His  general  ability,  espe- 
cially his  eloquence,  soon  brought  him  into  prominence, 
and  as  early  as  1856  he  carried  by  storm  such  far-famed 
masters  of  oratory  as  Sumner  and  Wendell  Phillips  by  a 
speech  which  he  made  at  a  banquet  in  Boston.  In  1860 
he  was  a  delegate  to  the  National  Convention  which  nom- 
inated Lincoln,  whom  he  ardently  supported  during  that 
memorable  canvass  which  resulted  in  his  election.  After 
the  inauguration,  Schurz  was  appointed  Minister  to  Spain, 
which  office  he  soon  resigned  to  take  a  command  in  the 
army.  His  military  service,  although  not  distinguished 
for  any  particularly  remarkable  achievements,  has  been 
uniformly  honorable  and  creditable.  In  August,  1862,  he 
commanded  the  Third  Division  of  Sigel's  First  Corps  during 
Pope's  campaign  at  Manassas.  In  May,  1863,  he  fought 
at  Chancellorsville  at  the  head  of  a  division  in  the  Eleventh 
Corps ;  in  July  of  the  same  year  he  was  at  Gettysburg, 
where  he  assumed  temporary  command  of  the  entire  Elev- 
enth Corps,  when  General  Howard,  after  Reynolds'  death, 
was  placed  in  charge  of  the  First,  Third  and  Eleventh 
Corps  combined;  on  the  first  day  of  that  battle  Schurz 
displayed  great  personal  courage  in  attempting  to  rally 
the  routed  troops  of  his  corps,  and  on  the  second  day  he 


repulsed  a  fierce  attack  of  the  rebels  upon  Cemetery  Hill, 
where  his  headquarters  were. 

Transferred  with  General  Hooker,  to  the  West,  he 
fought  before  Chattanooga  in  September,  and  in  Novem- 
ber took  part  in  the  storming  of  Missionary  Ridge. 

After  the  close  of  the  war  he  was  sent  by  President 
Johnson,  together  with  Generals  Grant  and  Thomas,  upon 
a  commission  of  inspection  into  the  Southern  States,  to 
report  upon  their  condition  and  ascertain  the  sentiments 
of  the  people.  During  his  term  in  the  United  States  Sen- 
ate he  gave  offense  to  the  ultra-Republicans  by  his  open 
advocacy  of  a  conciliatory  policy  towards  the  South  ;  his 
speeches  on  the  San  Domingo  Treaty  and  on  the  German 
Arms  question  were  masterpieces  of  brilliant  oratory  and 
logical  argument.  As  a  Cabinet  Minister  during  the  un- 
eventful administration  of  President  Hayes,  he  conducted 
the  affairs  of  his  department  on  plain  but  strict  business 
principles,  and  left  the  public  service  with  the  undisputed 
reputation  of  being  an  honest  man.  He  has  been  a  strong 
advocate  of  a  civil  service  in  the  United  States  exempt 
from  political  influence.  Forty  years  after  his  escape  from 
Prussian  justice  he  returns  to  Berlin,  and  is  received  with 
distinction  by  the  Prime  Minister  of  Prussia — Prince 

Alexandeb  Souihhelpfennio.  The  secret  agitations 
which  for  a  number  of  years  preceded  the  final  outbreak  in 
Baden,  extended  in  some  few  instances  among  the  officers 
of  the  Prussian  army.  The  principal  centers  of  this  move- 
ment were  in  Westphalia  and  among  the  garrisons  along 
the  Lower  Rhine ;  the  officers  of  the  artillery  regiments 
stationed  in  Cologne,  Wesel,  MUnster  and  Minden  were 
especially  affected.    Some  of  the  officers  of  the  infantry 


also  caught  the  contagion.  As  the  movement  spread,  it 
became  more  and  more  difficult  to  maintain  secrecy ;  dis^ 
coveries  were  made  by  spies  and  detectives,  followed  by 
peremptory  dismissals  of  some  and  the  forced  resignation 
of  othera.  The  Seventh  Regiment  of  Artillery  was  almost 
dismembered  by  dismissals  of  its  officers  during  the  years 
of  1846  and  1847.  Among  them  were  August  WUlich, 
Joseph  Weidemeyer  and  Frederick  Anneke. 

Among  the  infantry  officers  who  left  the  service  about 
that  time  was  Alexander  Schimmelpfennig.  He  had  been 
a  lieutenant  in  the  Twenty-ninth  Regiment  of  Infantry, 
stationed  in  the  City  of  Coblentz.  He  was  then  quite  young, 
short  and  lithe  of  stature,  blonde  and  fair,  aggressive, 
combative,  a  little  haughty,  but  genial,  and  quite  dashing, 
the  very  picture  and  ideal  of  the  sub-lieutenant  of  the  Prus- 
sian army.  His  silky,  cream-colored  mustache  was  curled 
up  defiantly  at  both  ends,  and  he  carried  his  dimpled  chin 
high  up  in  the  air.  After  a  few  days  he  was  assigned  by 
the  Provisional  Government  of  Trans-Rhenish  Bavaria  to 
the  command  of  some  of  the  regular  troops  who  had  gone 
over  to  the  Revolutionary  side,  and  of  the  volunteers  who 
were  flocking  in  from  all  parts  of  thecountry,  and  which  he 
stationed  along  the  Prussian  frontier,  with  headquarters  at 
Zweibrucken.  While  Schimmelpfennig  drilled  his  recruits. 
Engineer  Becker  assisted  Dr.  Weiss  in  collecting  the  reve- 
nue from  the  adjacent  coal  mines  and  salt  works,  by  a  pro- 
cess so  expeditious  and  prompt  that  it  could  properly  be 
classed  under  the  head  of  "  direct  taxation,"  This  lasted 
for  about  three  weeks,  but  one  fine  morning  two  Prussian 
columns  marched  over  the  border,  under  the  command 
of  the  Cro^vn  Prince  of  Prussia,  scattered  Schimmelpfen- 
nig's  regulars  and  volunteers,  and  while  he  was  trying  to 
check  the  rout,  a  Prussian  rifle  ball  pierced  his  leg. 

Kaiferin  llngufla. 
Empreas  AugusU. 


In  the  Spring  of  1861  he  enlisted  a  German  regiment 
for  the  war,  and  served  as  colonel  under  Sigel  in  the  Army 
of  the  Potomac  during  the  campaign  of  Gen.  Pope ;  fought 
bravely  at  Groveton,  and  was  promoted  for  gallantry  at 
the  second  battle  of  Bull  Bun.  At  Chance]  lorsville  he 
commanded  the  first  brigade  of  Schurz's  Division  of  the 
Eleventh  Corps.  At  Gettysburg  he  commanded  Schurz's 
Division  on  the  first  day,  and  fought  with  distinction  upon 
Cemetery  Eidge  on  the  second  day  of  that  battle.  In  Feb- 
ruary, 1864,  he  was  sent  to  St.  John's  Island,  in  Charleston 
Harbor,  and  in  February,  1865,  he  entered  that  rebel- 
lious city  at  the  head  of  his  division,  the  first  Union  soldier 
to  set  foot  upon  its  streets  since  the  firing  on  Sumter. 

His  health  had  become  seriously  impaired  during  the 
last  year  of  the  war,  and  he  died  from  the  effects  of  his 
exposures  in  the  swamps  of  South  Carolina,  in  September, 
1865,  at  Minersville,  Pa. 

Frederick  Kapp.  But  the  brightest,  most  genial  and 
truly  lovable  character  of  all  was  Frederick  Kapp.  He 
was  bom  in  the  town  of  Hamm,  in  the  Prussian  Province 
of  Westphalia,  where  his  father  was  principal  of  the  Gym- 
nasium, as  the  German  colleges  are  called.  Whoever  has 
traveled  through  that  part  of  Germany,  must  have  been 
attracted  by  the  singular  beauty  and  physical  perfection  of 
its  people.  Tall  of  stature,  muscular  and  erect  in  carriage, 
with  rosy  cheeks  and  fair  complexions,  clear  blue  eyes  and 
curling  hair  of  golden  hue,  the  very  peasants  are  models 
of  statuesque  beauty  and  grace ;  and  of  this  type,  Kapp 
was  a  superior  specimen. 

Full  of  health  and  manly  strength,  his  kindly  eyes 
fairly  aglow  with  merriment  and  good  humor,  he  delighted 
^o  tell  his  jolly  stories  and  deliver  his  witty  sallies  in  that 


peculiar  lisping  Westphalian  accent,  which  to  a  Southern 
German  has  always  a  peculiar  charm.  His  features  were 
clear-cut,  regular  and  expressive  of  strength  and  charac- 
ter, but  his  good-natured  smile  secured  him  at  first  sight 
the  lasting  friendship  of  all ;  nor  did  the  deep-cut  scar 
on  his  right  cheek,  a  relic  of  his  Heidelberg  University  days, 
mar  in  the  least  his  handsome  face. 

Completing  at  an  early  age  his  college  studies  under 
the  immediate  tuition  of  his  excellent  father,  he  studied 
jurisprudence  first  at  Heidelberg  and  then  at  Berlin,  where 
he  also  served  his  military  time  as  volunteer  in  the 
Artillery  of  the  Guard.  He  had  just  been  assigned  to  duty 
as  a  young  advocate  of  the  Superior  Court  in  his  native 
town  of  Hamm  when  the  Revolution  of  1848  broke  out  in 
Paris  and  spread  over  Germany  with  lightning  speed. 
After  taking  an  active  part  in  the  agitation  preceding  the 
elections,  he  took  up  his  residence  in  Frankflirt  at  the  as- 
sembling of  Parliament  in  that  city,  where  he  remained  as 
correspondent  for  some  of  the  leading  journals'  of  the  day, 
until  the  bloody  insurrection  in  September,  during  which 
Count  Lychnovski  and  Baron  von  Auerswald,  reactionary 
members  of  Parliament,  were  killed,  when  he  found  it 
prudent  to  remove  to  Paris,  which  was  just  then  begin- 
ning to  be  agitated  by  the  movement  which  resulted  in  the 
election  of  Louis  Napoleon  as  President  in  the  following 

During  the  winter  of  1848  and  1849,  Kapp  remained  in 
Paris,  engaged  as  correspondent  for  various  journals  and 
contributor  to  several  German  periodicals. 

In  May  and  June,  1848,  while  the  Revolutionists  were 
in  the  field  in  Southern  Germany,  Kapp  came  over  once 
or  twice,  but  did  not  take  any  active  part  in  that  cam- 


paign;  but  after  its  disastrous  conclusion,  he  escaped  to 
Geneva,  and  lived  in  the  family  of  the  famous  Russian 
revolutionist,  Alexander  Herzen,  whose  literary  works  he 
prepared  for  publication,  while  at  the  same  time,  he  was 
entrusted  with  the  education  of  Herzen's  young  son. 
Early  in  1S50  he  came  to  New  York,  where  he  first  en- 
gaged in  literary  work,  publishing  among  other  works  a 
clear  and  concise  history  of  slavery  in  the  United  States, 
which  little  volume  contributed  largely  to  the  enlighten- 
ment of  the  German  population  on  this  important  topic, 
which  just  then  occupied  such  a  large  share  in  the  political 
affairs  of  this  country.  He  wrote  the  lives  of  Baron  Steu- 
ben and  De  Kalb,  both  of  which  were  translated  into 
English,  and  obtained  quite  an  extensive  circulation. 
Later,  when  he  had  been  appointed  Commissioner  of  Emi- 
gration, he  wrote  a  general  history  of  emigration,  which 
contains  much  interesting  statistical  information. 

Eapp  returned  to  his  native  country  about  the  time  of 
the  Franco-German  war,  and  was  soon  afterward  elected 
to  the  Imperial  Parliament,  in  which  he  served  with  credit 
to  himself,  and  to  the  recognized  satisfaction  of  his  con- 
stituents, until  the  time  of  his  death,  about  three  years  ago. 

August  Willich.  Among  the  Prussian  officers  who  were 
dismissed  for  participation  in  political  movements,  was 
Captain  August  Willich,  of  the  Seventh  Regiment  of  Artil- 
lery. He  was  of  noble  birth,  and  the  descendant  of  a 
long  line  of  soldiers  distinguished  for  bravery  in  the  mili- 
tary service  of  their  country.  In  the  Spring  of  1848, 
he  joined  the  forces  under  Hecker,  in  Baden,  and,  after  a 
short  exile  in  France,  he  returned  in  September  with 
Gustavo  Struve,  for  a  second  attempt,  and  after  the  failure 
of  that  invasion,  he  retired  with  a  number  of  his  men  to 


the  town  of  Besangon,  on  the  western  slope  of  the  Jura 
Mountains,  which  here  form  the  boundary  between  Switzer- 
land and  France.  Here  he  organized  his  fellow  exiles  into 
a  military  company,  and  drilled  them  as  only  he  could 
drill.  When  the  general  uprising  took  place  in  May,  1849, 
Willich  reported  promptly  for  duty  with  his  body  of 
refugees,  veterans  in  rebellion,  and  took  a  prominent  part 
in  the  two  days'  engagement  at  Kastadt.  After  the  retreat 
of  the  army  into  Switzerland,  Willich  again  retired  to 
Besan9on,  but  was  soon  compelled  by  the  French  Govern- 
ment to  leave ;  whereupon  he  embarked  for  England  some 
time  in  1850,  and  after  a  year  or  two  came  to  America, 
where  he  found  employment  in  one  of  the  engineering 
parties  of  the  Coast  Survey.  Subsequently  he  came  to 
Cincinnati,  and  engaged  in  journalism.  At  the  outbreak  of 
our  own  Civil  War,  Willich  enlisted  at  once  in  Robert  Mo- 
Cook's  Ninth  Ohio  Eegiment,  which  was  largely  composed 
of  soldiers  trained  in  the  armies  of  Germany.  He  was 
appointed  Adjutant,  and  when  that  regiment  left  Camp 
Dennison  for  the  seat  of  war  in  West  Virginia,  there  was 
not  its  equal  among  the  volunteer  forces  in  the  service 
for  general  efficiency.  While  engaged  in  the  West  Vir- 
ginia campaign,  Willich  attracted  the  attention  of  Gov- 
ernor Morton,  of  Indiana,  who  offered  him  the  Colonelcy 
of  the  Thirty-second  Eegiment  of  Infantry  from  that  State, 
which  he  accepted,  and  in  command  of  which  he  remained 
until  promoted  to  a  higher  rank. 

It  is  no  exaggeration  to  say,  that,  as  a  soldier,  Willich 
was  perfection  itself,  and  it  is  no  disparagement,  for  it  is 
but  the  simple  truth,  to  add,  that  he  was  absolutely  unfit 
for  anything  else.  It  was  inspiring  to  see  him  draw  his 
sword  and  it  was  positively  humiliating  to  see  his  awk- 


ward  attempts  at  the  performance  of  the  simplest  duties  of 
ordinary  life.  He  fought  at  Perry  ville  under  Alexander 
McCook ;  at  Stone  Kiver  he  was  captured,  in  consequence 
of  his  anxiety  to  report  personally  to  his  chief  the  move- 
ments of  some  rebel  ti*oops  on  his  flank,  which  led  him  to 
ride  to  headquarters  alone,  and  his  running  straight  into  the 
enemy's  lines  on  his  return.  At  Mumfordville,  the  superior 
training  of  his  regiment  enabled  it  to  resist,  though  scat- 
tered out  in  skirmish  line,  a  sudden  and  very  fierce  attack 
of  a  regiment  of  Texas  Rangers,  killing  its  Colonel  and 
repulsing  the  troopers  with  heavy  loss.  This  little  fight  is 
described  as  one  of  the  most  brilliant  achievements  of 
the  war. 

Willich  arrived  at  Shiloh  in  command  of  the  Thirty- 
second  Indiana  early  on  Monday  morning,  and  at  once 
made  a  gallant  attack  on  the  enemy,  but  met  with  stubborn 
resistance.  Finding  that  under  the  heavy  fire  some  of 
his  men  began  to  lose  self-control,  he  stepped  in  front,  and 
for  fully  ten  minutes  drilled  them  in  the  manual  of  arms, 
as  he  said,  to  cool  them  off,  and  make  them  steady,  and 
then  continued  the  fight. 

It  is  sufdcient  to  say,  that  at  Chickamauga  he  was 
with  Thomas.  In  one  of  the  engagements  near  Atlanta 
he  received  a  severe  wound  in  his  upper  right  arm,  which 
disabled  him  for  active  service,  and  upon  his  partial  recov- 
ery, he  was  placed  in  command  of  the  post  of  Cincinnati, 
where  he  remained  until  the  close  of  the  war.  He  left  the 
army  a  Brigadier-General. 

Having  saved  something,  and  being  of  frugal  habits, 
he  managed  to  live  abroad  for  several  years  after  the  war, 
attending  lectures  on  philosophy  at  the  University  in  the 
same  city  of  Berlin  where,  nearly  fifty  years  before,  he 


had  studied  the  science  of  war  as  a  youthful  cadet.  Upon 
his  return  to  this  country  he  settled  in  the  quiet  little  vil- 
lage of  Saint  Marys,  Ohio,  near  some  old  friends  of  his 
soldier  days,  and  pursued,  with  the  enthusiasm  of  a 
school-boy,  the  studies  he  had  commenced  at  the  Berlin 
University,  spending  his  .leisure  in  frolicsome  playj* 
with  the  children  of  the  village,  whose  dearest  friend 
he  was. 

One  night  he  retired  in  good  health  and  spirits,  and 
the  next  morning  he  was  missed  by  the  children  at  the 
play-ground.  He  had  died  during  the  night,  apparently 
without  a  struggle. 

Carl  Heinzen  was  a  distinguished  journalist  and  an 
accomplished  writer  of  wonderful  force  and  influence; 
concise  and  clear  in  his  statements, logical  and  convincing 
in  his  arguments,  bitter  and  fierce  in  his  denunciations, 
and  relentless  in  his  persecution  ;  a  severe,  uncompromising 
critic — a  man  to  be  admired,  but  feared  rather  than  loved. 

His  prolific  pen  had  kept  the  German  censors  busy  for 
many  years  prior  to  the  Revolution.  Most  of  his  publica- 
tions were  confiscated,  on  general  principles,  as  soon  as  they 
left  the  press,  unless  they  had  already  been  seized  by  the 
police  in  the  composing  room. 

Physically,  he  was  a  man  of  gigantic  frame,  six  feet  or 
more  in  height,  able-bodied  and  strong;  but  there  was  no 
fight  in  him.  He  seemed  to  feel  that  his  pen  was  mightier 
than  his  sword,  and  he  preferred  to  attack  the  enemy  at 
long  range  with  fierce  pronunciamentos  and  soul  stirring 
harangues ;  but  never  a  drop  of  blood  would  he  spill  -^ 
neither  the  enemy's  nor  his  own ;  and  while  the  rest  of  the 
rebels  fought  and  than  ran  away  in  order  to  live  and 
fight  some  other  day,  Heinzen,  who  had  never  fought  at 


all,  ran  away  with  the  others,  but  evidently  more 
with  a  view  of  saving  his  life  for  the  time  being  than 
with  the  intention  of  renewing  the  fight  at  some  future 

During  his  refuge  in  Geneva,  he  lived  at  Grand  Pr^,  on 
the  hedge-lined  road  to  Petit-Sacconnex,  near  the  county- 
seat  of  Albert  Galere,  whose  hospitable  house  was  made  the 
cheerful  home  for  many  a  wanderer  during  the  dreary 
winter  of  1849.  At  a  little  cabaret,  where  the  red  wine 
from  Tessin  and  the  purple-tinted  melange  from  Canton  de 
Vaux  were  sold  so  cheap  that  even  the  poverty-stricken 
members  of  the  so-called  "  Brimstone  Club,''  could  afford 
to  drink  them  on  credit,  Heinzen  was  a  frequent  guest. 

He  reached  New  York,  after  a  short  stay  in  England, 
during  the  year  1851,  and  after  publishing  a  newspaperin 
that  city  for  a  few  years,  he  moved  to  Boston,  where  he 
continued  its  publication  with  considerable  success, until  the 
time  of  his  death,  about  nine  years  ago. 

Oswald  Ottendorfeb.  "When  Oswald  Ottendorfer  came 
to  Kaiserslautem  in  May,  1849,  to  offer  his  services  to  the 
Provisional  Government,  he  wore  the  uniform  of  the 
Academic  Legion  of  the  University  of  Vienna,  where  he  had 
been  a  student,  and  where  he  had  taken  part  in  the  insur- 
rection of  the  previous  year  and  in  the  more  recent  move- 
ments in  concert  with  Kossutli's  operations  in  Hungary. 
He  served  during  the  ensuing  campaign  in  Southern 
Germany  as  a  volunteer,  and  eventually  became,  like  all 
the  rest,  an  exile  in  Switzerland,  whence  he  emigrated  to 
America  some  time  in  1850.  Peddling,  in  utter  want  and 
sheer  desperation,  baskets  of  gorgeously-labeled  beverages 
of  doubtful  composition,  was  the  first  occupation  Otten- 
dorfer engaged  in.    But  fortune  never  smiled  upon  a 


worthier  and  more  deserving  man.  His  newspaper,  the 
New  York  Staats  ZeiPung^  has  an  immense  circulation,  and 
is  read  by  the  German  people  without  distinction  of 
party ;  its  democratic  spirit,  and  the  great  ability  with 
which  it  is  edited,  form  a  pleasing  contrast  with  the 
prevailing  journalism  of  the  day,  while  the  high  per- 
sonal character  of  its  publisher,  and  his  acknowledged 
sterling  integrity  are  a  source  of  pride  to  his  immediate 
countrymen,  and  his  genial,  tender-hearted  kindness  is 
the  pleasure  and  delight  of  his  numberless  friends  and 

Blenker.  Blenker  appears  to  have  been  a  soldier  of 
fortune  from  earliest  youth.  When  a  mere  boy  he  served 
as  a  volunteer  in  Greece,  during  her  heroic  struggle  of  de- 
liverance from  the  yoke  of  the  Turks.  During  the  Summer 
of  1848  he  drilled  a  militia  company  in  the  town  of  Worms, 
famous  for  its  cathedral  and  for  that  memorable  trial  in 
which  Luther  told  his  judges,  "  if  this  is  the  work  of  men, 
it  will  crumble  to  pieces  of  its  own  accord,  but  if  it  is  the 
work  of  God,  it  is  vain  for  you  to  oppose  it."  And  when, 
in  May,  1849,  the  news  reached  Blenker  of  the  flight  of 
the  Grand  Duke  of  Baden,  he  promptly  marched  his  mili- 
tia company  up  the  river  to  Ludwigshafen  and  seized  the 
little  garrison  at  the  Bavarian  end  of  the  bridge  which 
crosses  the  Rhine  at  Mannheim.  He  was  a  dashing  fellow, 
sitting  well  in  the  saddle,  too  proud  to  be  anything  but 
brave.  He  made  a  bold  attempt  on  one  bright  Sundaj^  morn- 
ing to  storm  the  Fortress  of  Landau,  but  after  receiving  a 
few  rounds  of  grape  shot  from  the  ramparts  of  the  fort, 
he  reconsidered  his  plan  and  concluded  to  let  Landau 
alone.  He  commanded,  as  well  as  any  one  could  command 
such  a  body,  a  large  force  of  heterogeneous  volunteers. 


and  his  energetic,  pale-faced  little  wife  rode  by  his  side 
through  all  that  campaign,  from  Zweibrucken,  on  the  line 
between  France  and  Bavaria,  through  the  Palatinate, 
across  the  Ehine,  down  to  Mannheim,  back  to  Bastadt  and 
over  the  shady  hills  of  the  Black  Forest,  and  past  the 
lihine  into  Switzerland. 

Just  where  Blenker  spent  the  short  interval  between  the 
close  of  the  war  of  1849  and  his  arrival  in  New  York  in 
1851,  is  not  known,  but  after  that,  the  dairy  farm  which 
he  cultivated  in  Orange  County,  on  the  Hudson,  where 
free  buttermilk  and  aromatic  cheese  were  dispensed  in 
most  generous  measures  to  his  visiting  friends,  was  his 
abiding  place. 

He  evidently  was  on  nand  again  promptly  in  1861, 
for  we  read  of  his  covering  the  retreat  from  Bull  Run 
toward  Washington.  Early  in  1862  he  commanded  a 
division  during  the  operations  of  the  army  in  the  Shenan- 
doah Valley,  but  during  the  latter  part  of  the  Avar  his 
health  failed,  and  he  died  before  its  final  conclusion. 

Joseph  Weydemeyeb  was  one  of  those  obnoxious 
Prussian  artillery  officers  whose  resignations  were  de- 
manded somewhere  in  1847.  In  1848  he  was  employed 
on  the  Cologne-Minden  Railroad  as  engineer.  After  the 
defeat  of  the  revolutionary  movements  in  1849,  he  came 
to  New.York,  where  he  engaged  in  journalistic  enterprises, 
settled  subsequently  in  Milwaukee,  and  returned  to  New 
York  in  1860,  under  an  appointment  as  engineer  of  the 
Central  Park  Commission.  In  1861  he  enlisteded  under 
Fremont,  in  St.  Louis,  where  at  first  he  took  charge  of  the 
fortifications  in  that  vicinitv,  and  afterward  received  a 
Lieutenant-Colonel's  commission  in  the  Second  Regiment 
of  Missouri  Artillery,  in  which  capacity  he  spent  a  long 


time  in  Western  Missouri,  fighting  the  guerrillas  and 
bushwhackers.  Toward  the  close  of  the  war  he  com- 
manded the  Fort^'-first  Regiment  of  Missouri  Infantry, 
and  was  also  Commander  of  the  })ost  of  St.  Louis. 

In  1886  he  was  elected  Auditor  of  St.  Louis  County, 
but  he  had  barely  entered  upon  his  duties  when  he  died 
of  cholera,  in  the  prime  of  his  life. 

Max  Webeb,  who  had  been  a  Lieutenant  in  the 
Army  of  Baden,  and  his  comrade,  Schw«irz,  who  parted 
from  his  father  when  the  latter  followed  the  Grand 
Duke  into  exile,  both  performed  gallant  services  in  our 
army  during  the  War  of  the  Rebellion.  Weber  com- 
manded a  brigade  in  General  Sedgwick's  division  of  Sum- 
ner's Second  Corps  at  the  battles  of  Fredericksburg  and 
Antietam,  and  the  bravery  of  Schwarz's  battery  of  artil- 
lery during  Grant's  operations  around  Fort  Donaldson 
and  Vicksburg  is  honorably  mentioned  in  the  official 
reports  of  that  campaign. 

Besides  these  few,  whose  lives  have  been  briefly 
sketched,  there  have  been  and  still  are  hundreds  of  others, 
scattered  throughout  all  parts  of  this  Western  World, 
pursuing  in  modest  ways  their  humble  vocations,  yet  add- 
ing, to  the  best  of  their  ability,  their  honest  share  to  its 
material  development  and  intellectual  improvement. 

A  few  years  more,  and  the  last  exile  of  '49  will  have 
found  refuge  in  the  great  asylum  where  extract  it  ion  laws 
are  unknown,  and  where,  it  is  hoped,  he  will  not  be  com- 
pelled to  serve  a  probationary  term  prior  to  his  full  admis- 
sion to  citizenship.  But  his  children  and  his  children's 
children  will  live  on,  assimilated,  absorbed  and  American- 
ized, unmindful  of  their  origiu  and  indifferent  to  their 


Thus,  even  the  patriotic  impulses  of  the  German  people 
for  the  possession  of  their  inalienable  rights,  was  suffocated 
m  the  blood  of  their  most  devoted  sons.  If  the  principles 
laid  down  in  the  American  Declaration  of  Independence 
are  based  upon  immutable  truth,  the  uprising  of  the  peoples 
of  Europe  against  their  oppressors  in  1848  was  as  justi- 
fiable as  the  American  Revolution  against  England's  des. 
potism,  and  the  hanging  of  the  leading  American  patriots 
in  case  of  failure,  would  not  have  been  more  inhuman  and 
unjustifiable  than  the  butchering  of  the  German  patriots  at 
Rastadt  and  elsewhere.  In  this  case,  the  resistance  to  over- 
come was  so  insignificant,  that  Prince  William  could  well 
have  aflforded  to  be  magnanimous.  However,  peoples  have 
short  memories  of  past  grievances,  and  the  ghastly  per- 
formances of  1849  have  long  since  been  effaced,  if  not 
condoned,  by  the  glorious  achievements  of  Prince  William, 
who  was  alone  held  responsible  for  them.  All  these  things 
are  now  forgotten,  and  the  worst  hated  man  in  Berlin  in 
1848,  became  the  most  beloved  and  honored  man  through- 
out Germany  in  1888. 

The  period  preceding  the  Revolution  of  1848-9  was  one 
in  which  the  intellectual  activity  and  advancement  of  the 
Germans  kept  pace  with  that  of  every  other  nation,  and  in 
some  respects  outstripped  them.  Numerous  scientific  dis- 
coveries of  practical  utility  infused  new  life  into  commer- 
cial and  industrial  enterprises.  Professor  Liebig  gave  a  new 
impetus  to  researches  in  the  branches  of  Natural  Science 
and  Chemistry,  and  Hegel  gave  to  the  philosophical  world 
food  for  all  ages  of  reflection,  while  the  studies  of  the 
Grimm  Brothers  in  the  field  of  ethnological,  religio-his- 
torical,  and  jurisprudence  of  the  ancients,  have  challenged 
the  admiration  of  the  whole  scholastic  world.     Among  the 


celebrated  historians  of  the  period  were  Banke,  Scblosser, 
Botteckand  Frederick  von  Banmer.  Of  an  army  of  poets 
the  following  names  are  most  familiar  to  the  reader: 
Uhland,  Eockert,  Immermann,  Heine,  Hafan,  Freiligrath 
and  HinkeL  In  no  other  country  in  the  world  has  music 
made  snch  rapid  progress  as  in  Grcrmanj'  daring  these 
revolutionary  years.  The  names  of  Beethoven,  Von 
Weber,  Schubert,  Meyerbeer,  Mendelssohn  and  Bartholdy 
are  household  friends  wherever  the  harmony  of  sounds  is 
cultivated,  while  the  names  of  Germany's  painters  and 
sculptors  are  legion. 

It  was  in  the  year  1850  that  success  crowned  the 
efforts  of  the  King  to  come  to  some  understanding  with 
his  people.  After  months  of  difficulty  and  disquietude,  a 
new  Constitution  was  published  on  the  second  day  of 
February.  This  instrument  defined  the  powers  of  King 
and  Parliament  and  the  duties  of  the  Ministers  of  the 
Crown.  Although  many  modifications  were  subsequently 
made,  it  formed  the  basis  of  the  Constitution  as  now  by 
law  established.  A  Bepresentative  Chamber,  as  well  as  a 
House  of  Peers,  was  provided  for,  and  a  great  advance 
was  made  in  the  direction  of  universal  suffrage,  so  that  it 
may  be  said  the  Bevolution  accomplished  this  much  for 
a  short  time  in  the  way  of  progress. 

As  previously  stated,  the  peace  of  Malmo  did  not  intend 
to  permanently  adjust  the  Schleswig-Holstein  difficulty, 
and  in  March,  1849,  war  against  Denmark  was  renewed 
by  the  Duchies  supported  by  German  troops.  The  Danes 
were  defeated  at  Kolding,  the  allies  pursuing  them  to 
the  fortifications  of  Fredricia.  But  for  prudential  rea- 
sons the  war  was  not  carried  on  with  vigor  by  Prussia, 
and  another  armistice  was  agreed  upon  at  Berlin  and 


placed  under  a  council  presided  over  by  an  Englishman. 
A  peace  was  concluded,  and  the  Duchies  returned  to  Dan- 
ish rule.  The  people,  however,  rejected  the  treaty,  and 
resolving  to  rely  upon  their  own  strength,  they  marched 
tlieir  whole  force  of  29,000  men,  under  General  Willisen,  to 
Idstadt,  where  thev  were  met  and  defeated  bv  the  Danes. 
Although  suflfering  a  loss  of  6,000  killed  the  Danes  refused 
to  submit.  The  German  Diet  supported  by  Russia  now 
ordered  a  cessation  of  hostilities,  and  Austrian  troops  were 
sent  into  the  Duchies  to  enforce  the  order. 

In  the  meantime.  King  Frederick  William  IV.  of  Prus- 
sia had  made  an  ineffectual  effort  to  organize  a  new  Ger- 
man union,  of  which  the  three  kingdoms  of  Prussia,  Sax- 
ony and  Hanover  should  form  the  nucleus.  But  Austria, 
having  suppressed  the  revolution  at  home,  was  stronger 
than  ever  before,  while  her  foreign  affairs  had  been  in- 
trusted to  the  hands  of  an  ardent  and  aggressive  minister, 
an  inveterate  enemy  of  Prussia,  Prince  Schwarzenberg. 
This  statesman  was  not  only  determined  to  defeat  all 
attempts  at  separate  organization  of  the  smaller  States 
under  the  leadership  of  Prussia,  but  to  destroy,  if  possible, 
her  influence  in  the  affairs  of  Germany.  Events  as  they 
transpired  seemed  to  favor  Schwarzenberg's  plans.  In 
the  electorate  of  Hesse  the  people  were  engaged  in  a 
struggle  for  Constitutional  reform  against  their  reaction- 
ary prince,  who  was  ably  assisted  by  his  unscrupulous 
minister,  Hasenpflug.  The  King  having  repeatedly  vio- 
lated the  Constitution,  the  representatives  refused  to  vote 
the  budget,  whereupon  the  Prince  declared  the  country 
under  martial  law.  But  the  troops  stood  by  the  represent- 
atives, refusing  to  break  their  allegiance  to  the  Constitu- 
tion.   The  Prince  now  appealed  to  the  Diet,  when  Austria 


and  Bavaria  sent  troops  to  assist  him.  Prussia  now 
marched  troops  into  Cassel,  and  it  appeared  as  if  the  de- 
cisive moment  between  Austria  and  Prussia  for  the  mas- 
tery in  Germany  was  at  hand.  Austria  increased  her 
armament  in  Bohemia,  and  Prussia  made  great  military 
preparations.  The  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs,  Count  Bran- 
denburg, was  dispatched  to  the  Czar  at  Warsaw  to  in- 
fluence this  potentate  in  Prussia's  favor,  but  instead  of 
bread  he  was  tendered  a  stone.  The  Count  was  received 
by  the  Czar  with  the  most  impudent  demands.  Prussia 
was  asked  to  undo  everything  she  had  done  toward  favor- 
ing more  liberal  institutions  in  Germany. 

These  audacious  demands,  and  the  grossly  abusive 
manner  in  which  they  were  made,  so  affected  the  brave 
Count  Brandenburg  as  to  cause  nervous  prostration,  from 
which  he  died  in  the  following  month  of  November. 

Otto  von  Manteuffel  having  succeeded  Brandenburg  at 
the  head  of  foreign  affairs  in  Prussia,  it  soon  became 
apparent  that  the  policy  of  political  retrogression  had  now 
fairly  begun,  and  that  Prussia's  complete  submission  to  Aus- 
trian and  Russian  dictation  was  only  a  question  of  time. 

The  first  step  in  this  direction  was  the  departure  of 
Minister  Manteuffel  for  Olmtttz  on  the  29th  of  November, 
where  he  met  Prince  Schwarzenberg,  the  Austrian  pre- 
mier. Then  the  political  surrender  of  Prussia  took  place, 
Manteuffel  most  graciously  acceding  in  writing  to  all  the 
demands  made  upon  Count  Brandenburg  by  the  Czar,  and 
promising  to  carry  out  the  reactionary  programme  of  rob-' 
biiig  the  Prussian  people  of  their  achievements  as  far  as  lay 
in  his  power. 

On  the  12th  of  June,  1851,  the  Diet,  which  the  people 
of  Germany  had  long  since  believed  to  be  defunct,  again 


assembled.  The  representatives  of  the  German  sovereign- 
ties seemed  to  vie  with  each  other  in  eagerness  to  destroy 
the  last  vestige  of  political  progress  made  during  the  few 
years  after  the  Revolution,  and  to  re-establish  the  same 
order  of  things  that  had  prevailed  previous  to  March,  1848. 

In  this  assembly  of  notables  sat  a  man  representing 
the  interests  of  King  Frederick  William  IV.,  of  Prussia, 
who  appeared  to  care  very  little  what  the  fate  of  the 
German  Confederation  should  be  as  long  as  its  destinies 
were  controlled  by  the  Hapsburg  Dynasty.  In  his  esti- 
mation, the  concern  was  as  rotten  as  could  be,  and  the 
sooner  it  disappeared,  in  its  prevailing  condition  at  least, 
the  better  for  Germany  in  general,  and  for  Prussia  in  par- 
ticular. Although  not  making  himself  over-conspicuous, 
he  was  a  close  observer  of  the  Diet's  proceedings.  In  the 
fall  of  1853,  this  Prussian  delegate,  in  private  letters  to 
his  sister,  Mrs.  Von  Armin,  wrote  the  following  sarcastic 
lines,  highly  characteristic  of  him,  showing  the  estimate 
in  which  the  German  Confederation  of  States  was  held 
by  him : 

"  I  have  accustomed  myself  to  remain  in  a  state  of 
yawning  innocence ;  to  bear,  all  unnoticed,  symptoms  of 
coldness,  and  to  allow  a  state  of  mind  of  the  utmost  in- 
difference to  govern  me  since  the  occasion  when,  I  flatter 
myself,  I  was  enabled,  in  no  small  degree,  to  successfully 
contribute  towards  impressing  upon  the  Bund  (Confeder- 
ation) a  consciousness  of  its  own  insignificance.  That 
well-known  song  of  Heine,  "  O  du  Bund^  du  Hund^  du 
hist  nicht  gesund^^^  etc.  ("  Oh  Bund,  thou  Hound,  thou  art 
not  sound") ,  w^ill  soon  be  declared  by  unanimous  consent, 
to  be  the  national  anthem  of  the  Germans. 

"  Your  true  brother, 

(VoN  BiSMAEOK.)  "  V.  B." 


Also,  in  the  following  letter,  written  on  the  11th  of 
September,  1856,  Herr  von  Bismarck  shows  that  he  was 
fully  cognizant  of  Austria's  anti-German  and  perfidious 
diplomatic  manoBuvqring. 

"In  November,  I  fancy  the  Bund  will  dedicate  its 
sittings  to  the  Ilolsteiners,  and  with  more  good  will  than 
success.  On  the  above  subject  the  several  governments 
will  be  outwardly  unified.  Austria,  however,  wiU  re- 
main in  secret  the  friend  of  the  Danes,  and  in  her  press 
will  have  her  mouth  full  of  German  phrases,  and  place 
the  fault  on  Prussia  that  nothing  is  done.  The  center  of 
gravity  in  this  matter  is,  in  fact,  not  at  Frankfort,  but  in 
whether  the  Danes  are  sure  of  support  from  one  or  more 
of  the  non-German  powers.  If  this  is  the  case  they  will 
discover  a  legal  flaw  in  the  decision  of  the  Bund. 

'^V.  B." 

Upon  this  one  point,  however,  the  two  rival  powers — 
Prussia  and  Austria — ^agreed  perfectly,  to- wit :  uix)n  the 
question  of  a  repressive  policy  at  home,  and  to  support 
any  measure  brought  forward  framed  for  the  purpose  of 
curtailing  the  rights  already  secured  to  the  people  of  the 
different  States. 

Thus,  what  wonder  that  the  people  of  Germany  began 
to  look  upon  this  assemblage  of  royal  bosses,  first  with 
distrust,  then  with  indifference,  and  finally  with  supreme 

A  noted  historian  discribing  the  condition  of  political 
affairs  in  Germany  at  this  time  says : 

"Austrian  influence  was  again  in  the  ascendant  in 
Germany,  and  was  unscrupulously  used  for  purposes  which 
recall  the  time  of  Ferdinand  II.  The  Austrian  Constitu- 
tion was  abolished,  and  every  German  monarch,  who 


undertook  reactionary  measures,  was  sure  of  support 
from  Austria  and  the  Confederation.  The  power  of  Eome 
and  of  the  Jesuits  was  restored.  At  the  same  time, 
Austria  maintained  a  defiant  and  hostile  tone  toward 
Prussia ;  strove  to  bind  to  itself  the  smaller  States,  and 
even  to  weaken  and  dissolve  the  Zollverein  —  the  last  bond 
of  German  union  left  in  Prussia's  hand.  The  people  of  the 
smaller  German  States  seemed  indifferent  to  these  jealousies 
of  the  great  Powers.  Prussia  took  no  part  in  the  war  of 
France  and  England  against  Eussia,  from  1853  to  1855, 
having  no  reason  for  hostility  to  that  Empire.  Austria 
finally  joined  the  Western  Powers,  and  her  threatening 
attitude  hastened  liussia's  consent  to  humiliating  terms  of 
peace.  Prussia  was  now  checked  in  the  path  of  her  growth 
and  progress,  in  which  she  had  been  moving  on  from  the 
accession  of  Frederick  William  IV.  The  Constitution, 
indeed,  was  not  overthrown,  but  the  people  were  full  of 
suspicion  and  discontent.  The  disgrace  of  the  surrender 
at  Olmtttz  was  felt  as  a  second  Jena. 

"  During  the  time  of  Manteuffel's  reactionary  regime. 
Prince  Wilhelm  of  Prussia  had  withdrawn  from  public 
view.  He  did  not  agree  with  the  inexcusable,  illiberal 
course  of  this  Minister.  In  fact,  he  had  publicly  declared 
that  ho  was  in  favor  of  maintaining,  in  good  faith,  the 
privileges  guaranteed  to  the  people  by  the  Constitution. 
But  his  principal  care  was  given  to  the  army,  the  organi- 
zation and  perfection  of  which  he  watched  with  intense 
solicitude.  On  the  1st  of  January,  1807,  shortly  before 
entering  upon  the  sixtieth  year  of  his  age,  he  celebrated  the 
fiftieth  anniversary  of  his  service  in  the  Prussian  army. 
During  this  period  of  his  retirement,  a  pleasant  event 
enlivened  the  private  circle  of  his  family.    On  the  20th 


of  September,  1856,  his  daughter  Louisa  was  wedded  to 
the  Crown  Prince  of  Baden,  and  in  July  the  following 
year  his  son  'Fritz,'  the  present  Emperor,  was  betrothed 
to  Princess  Victoria  of  Great  Britain.  Lord  Palmerston 
considered  that  such  a  union  would  unquestionably  be  to 
the  interests  of  the  two  countries  immediately  concerned 
and  of  Europe  in  general.  In  her  Journal,  tlie  Queen 
gives  the  following  interesting  account  of  the  betrothal, 
under  date  of  September  29,  1855:  'Our  dear  Victoria 
was  this  day  engaged  to  Prince  Frederick  William  of 
Prussia,  who  had  been  on  a  visit  to  us  since  the  14th. 
He  had  already  spoken  to  us,  on  the  20th,  of  his  wishes ; 
but  we  were  uncertain,  on  account  of  her  extreme  youth, 
whether  he  should  speak  to  her  himself,  or  wait  till  he 
came  back  again.  However,  we  felt  it  was  better  he 
should  do  so,  and  during  our  ride  up  Craig-na-Ban  this 
afternoon,  he  picked  a  piece  of  white  heather  (the  emblem 
of  "good  luck")  which  he  gave  to  her ;  and  this  enabled 
him  to  make  an  allusion  to  his  hopes  and  wishes  as  they 
rode  dovvn  Glen  Dirnoch,  which  led  to  this  happy  conclu- 
sion.' Prince  Albert  wrote  to  Stockmar:  ^  Vicky  has 
indeed  behaved  quite  admirably,  as  well  during  the  closer 
explanation  on  Saturday,  as  in  the  self-command  which 
she  displayed  subsequently  and  at  the  parting.  She  man- 
ifested towards  Fritz  and  ourselves  the  most  childlike 
simplicity  and  candor  and  the  best  feeling.  The  young 
people  are  ardently  in  love  with  one  another,  and  the  puri- 
ty, innocence,  and  unselfishness  of  the  young  man  have 
been  on  his  part  equally  touching.'  " 

On  the  25th  of  January,  1858,  Prince  Frederick  was 
married  to  the  Princess  Victoria,  the  Prince  going  over 
to  England  for  the  ceremony,  which  took  place  in  the 


Chapel  Eoyal,  St.  James.  Says  an  English  biographer : 
''When  the  fair  English  girl  went  out  to  the  land  of  her 
adoption,  never  was  a  Princess  received  by  the  Prussians 
with  as  much  enthusiasm  as  she.  And  their  first  impres- 
sions of  her  have  onlv  been  confirmed  and  strengthened 
by  the  good  and  noble  life  she  has  since  led  amongst  the 

Prince  Albert  and  Queen  Victoria  visited  their  daugh- 
ter the  next  j^ear  in  Berlin.  They  met  her  waiting  for 
them  at  Potsdam. 

After  a  stay  of  nearly  seven  weeks  in  Germany,  her 
Majesty  and  the  Prince  Consort  returned  to  England 
with  feelings  of  rejoicing  over  the  happiness  of  their 
eldest  child,  and  of  thankfulness  for  the  cordial  under- 
standing which  existed  between  the  Courts  of  St.  James 
and  Berlin. 

In  1856  the  Prince  presided  over  the  Army  Commis- 
sion, which  decided  upon  the  adoption  of  the  needle-gun 
throughout  the  Prussian  army.  On  the  1st  of  January^ 
in  the  succeeding  year,  he  celebrated  his  fifty  years  of 
military  service,  when  the  King  conferred  upon  him  the 
command  of  the  Seventh  Hussars,  and  gave  him  as  word 
of  honor.  The  officers  of  the  army,  by  whom  the  Prince 
was  held  in  high  esteem,  presented  him  with  a  massive 
silver  shield,  and  the  veteran  old  warriors  gave  him  a 
magnificent  silver  helmet.  The  Queen  of  England, 
moreover,  sent  him  the  insignia  of  the  Bath,  by  the 
hands  of  the  gallant  Sir  Colin  Campbell. 

While  the  Prince  of  Prussia  was  at  Baden  in  1857, 
visiting  his  daughter,  the  Grand  Duchess,  he  became 
acquainted  with  his  future  antagonist,  Napoleon  III. 

The  Prince's  period  of  political  inactivity  was  soon  to 


close,  however,  and  the  Prussians  were  soon  to  have  the 
opportunity  of  judging  whether  he  was  a  worthy  descend- 
ant of  the  great  Elector  and  the  greater  King,  Frederick 
the  Great. 

In  September,  1857,  Frederick  William  IV.,  sometimes 
irreverently  called  "  Campagner-Fritz,"  was  suddenly 
stricken  with  paralysis  of  the  brain.  As  his  malady  was 
beyond  the  help  of  medical  skill,  on  the  25th  of  October, 
1858,  he  abdicated  and  Prince  William  was  made  Eegent, 
taking  an  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  Prussian  Constitution. 
At  the  end  of  this  ceremony  the  Prince  expressed  himself 
in  the  following  not-to-be-mistaken  language : 

"  I  have  taken  upon  myself  the  heavy  load  and  respon- 
sibility of  the  Regency,  and  I  have  the  firm  will  to  con- 
tinue to  perform  what  the  Constitution  and  the  laws 
exact  from  me." 

In  a  written  address  of  some  length,  the  Prince  Eegent 
defined  his  position  fully  concerning  the  great  interests  of 
the  state,  religion,  education,  the  army,  and  Prussia's  for- 
eign relations,  thus : 

"In  religion  there  has  been  many  abuses,  and  both 
Churches  would  be  strenuously  opposed  if  religion  again 
were  to  be  used  as  a  political  cloak.  The  Evangelical 
Church  has  returned  to  an  orthodoxy  which  is  not  in  har- 
mony with  her  principles,  and  that  orthodoxy  has  placed 
the  greatest  bar  on  Evangelical  union.  The  Catholic 
Church  has  her  rights  constitutionallj^  confirmed,  but  en- 
croachments can  no  longer  be  suffered.  The  education  of 
the  States  should  be  so  devised  that  Prussia  would  become 
foremost  in  the  intelligence  of  the  world.  The  army 
has  created  the  greatness  of  Prussia,  though  both  the 
army  and  the  state  suffered  severely  at  one  time  from 




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neglect.  The  war  of  emancipation  has  proved  the  capa- 
bilities of  the  Prussian  armies,  but  the  victories  of  the 
past  must  not  dazzle  us  to  blindly  overlook  the  defects  of 
the  present.  There  are  many  things  requiring  alteration, 
which  money  and  time  will  effect.  It  would  be  a  grave 
mistake  to  be  satisfied  with  merely  a  cheap  army  reorgan- 
ization, which  could  never  realize  the  expectation  of  the 
country  at  a  critical  moment.  Prussia  should  be  re- 
spected, and  to  that  end  it  is  imperative  that  a  powerful 
army  be  maintained,  so  that  when  the  supreme  moment 
comes,  she  can  throw  her  full  weight  in  the  scale.  The 
world  must  learn  to  know  that  Prussia  is  always  ready  to 
protect  her  rights.  A  firm  and,  if  necessary,  energetic 
policy,  developed  with  caution  and  prudence,  will  procure 
for  Prussia  that  political  respect  and  power  which  it  would 
be  impossible  for  her  to  gain  by  force  of  arms  alone." 

These  were  the  ringing  phrases  the  Prussians  had 
long  listened  for,  and  they  not  only  saw  the  beginning  of 
a  new  era  for  their  country,  but  throughout  Germany  the 
leaven  had  begun  to  work.  The  Manteuffel  ministry  was 
dismissed,  and  the  people  expected  a  man  to  be  placed 
where  he  had  stood,  whose  heart,  soul,  thought,  and 
mind  were  Prussian.  Such  a  man  was  being  prepared  and 
perfected  by  the  exigencies  of  the  hour.  At  this  time  he 
was  a  member  of  the  Bund,  and  writes:  "I  take  a  par- 
ticular pleasure  in  the  Bund ;  all  the  gentlemen  who,  but 
six  months  ago,  demanded  my  recall  as  a  necessary  condi- 
tion towards  the  consummation  of  German  unity,  now 
tremble  at  the  thought  of  losing  me.  I  say  to  them  all, 
'  Only  keep  calm ;  everything  will  be  all  right  in  time.' " 

The  first  complication  of  a  serious  nature,  and  which 
but  for  the  oool  and  deliberate  judgment  of  the  Prince 


Regent  might  have  involved  Prussia  in  a  conflict, 
were  the  disputes  which  arose  between  the  King  of 
Sardinia  and  the  Emperor  of  Austria  in  1859.  Popular 
sympathy  in  Germany  drifted  towards  Italy,  whose  people 
were  struggling  for  liberty  and  unity,  the  same  as  them- 
selves ;  but  when  their  hereditary  foe  across  the  Rhine 
allied  himself  with  the  King  of  Sardinia,  a  revulsion 
of  sentiment  in  favor  of  Austria  took  place.  Count  Cavour, 
the  astute  premier  of  Sardinia,  sought  to  entice  Prince 
William  into  an  alliance  with  the  intimation  that,  through 
such  a  course,  Prussia  might  obtain  satisfaction  for  the 
humiliation  she  had  suffered  in  the  conference  at  Olmiitz. 
But  in  the  opinion  of  the  Prince  Regent,  the  time  for  such 
revenge,  however  desirable,  had  not  yet  come,  and  reply- 
ing to  Cavour,  "  that  Prussia  must  not  have  her  hands 
tied  by  treaties  at  this  early  stage  in  the  affair,"  con- 
cluded to  remain  neutral  for  the  time  being.  The  war  in 
Italy  having  progressed,  and  appearing  to  culminate  in 
Austria's  overthrow  in  Lombardv,  the  matter  was  taken 
up  in  the  German  Diet,  where,  after  an  acrimonious  debate, 
the  Austrian  delegate  introduced  the  resolution  to  mobilize 
the  whole  federal  army  and  to  place  the  Prussian  Prince 
Regent  in  command  —  subject  to  the  control  of  the  Diet,  or, 
in  other  words,  subject  to  Austria's  control.  But  Prussia 
declined  the  honor  unless  the  assisting  army  should  be 
placed  under  the  Prince  Regent's  entire  control.  To  this 
Austria  would  not  consent,  and,  consequently,  the  events 
of  the  war  between  Italy  and  Austria  compelled  Austria 
to  agree  to  the  terms  dictated  by  Napoleon  III.  of  France, 
which  were  signed  at  Yilla  Franca,  July,  1859.  Of  course, 
Prussia  was  held  responsible  for  this  humiliating  result,  a 
feeling  which  naturally  increased  the  animosity  already 
existing  between  the  two  Powers. 


fiut  impartial  history  has  placed  the  blame  where  it 
properly  belongs.  A  prompt  and  frank  acceptance  of 
German  aid  under  Prussian  military  leadership,  which  had 
been  offered,  would  undoubtedly  have  spared  to  Austria 
the  Villa  Franca  treaty,  but  she  preferred  the  loss  of  ter- 
ritory and  of  prestige  in  Italy  to  a  victory  secured  over 
Napoleon,  which  might  redound  to  the  credit  of  her  hated 
rival  in  the  affairs  of  Germany-Prussia.  This  condition 
of  things  was  well  understood  by  the  Prince  Regent,  nor 
was  he  unmindful  of  the  fact  that  the  appetite  of  the 
French  for  military  glory  had  been  sharpened  by  the  vic- 
tories of  Magenta  and  Solferino,  and  which  they  might 
soon  wish  to  satiate  in  Germany.  William  remembered 
that  Russia  had  of  late  years  assumed  the  r61e  of  a  military 
"  bully  "  toward  Prussia,  and  could,  therefore,  not  be  relied 
upon  as  an  ally  in  the  event  of  a  conflict  with  France. 
But,  above  all,  he  fell  the  responsibility  resting  upon  him 
as  a  member  of  the  German  Confederation  to  spare  no 
pains  to  increase  the  power  of  Prussia ;  to  watch  every 
move  of  the  Powers ;  to  checkmate  every  advance  of  her 
enemies  by  well-defined  and  unhesitating  counter  moves. 
A  powerful  military  organization  must  be  his  chief  reli- 
ance. The  representatives  were  not  in  favor  of  spending 
enormous  sums  for  this  purpose.  The  Prince  Regent  was 
not  to  be  thwarted  in  this  greatest  of  all  ambitions,  even 
at  the  cost  of  coercing  the  people's  representatives,  if  nec- 
essary. Accordingly,  after  a  careful  examination  into  the 
actual  condition  of  the  army,  it  appeared  by  niobilization 
that  its  ranks  were  composed  mostly  of  heads  of  families ; 
to  be  more  explicit,  two  thirds  of  the  troops  were  thus 
encumbered.  The  Prince  submitted  his  plan  of  reorgan- 
ization to  the  House  of  Representatives,  by  which  this 


state  of  things  could  be  remedied,  but  was  resisted  by  a 
majorit}^  of  its  members,  owing  to  the  accompanymg  in- 
crease of  expenditures.  They  all  agreed  with  the  Regent 
that  something  ought  to  be  done  to  render  the  army  more 
effective,  but  it  might  be  done  cheaper,  they  thought,  than 
in  the  measure  proposed. 

One  of  the  German  Emperor's  biographers  forcibly 
observes  that,  "  the  Prince  Regent,  as  soon  as  he  came  into 
power,  hastened  to  prepare  his  people  for  the  long  series 
of  struggles  which  he  foresaw  to  be  inevitable,  if  Prussia 
were  destined,  under  his  guidance,  to  achieve  her  mission 
in  Europe,  viz.,  to  take,  and  keep  in  such  sort  that  it  might 
never  escape  her,  the  leadership  of  Germany.  To  this  end 
he  drew  the  whole  vigorous  youth  of  the  nation  into  the 
ranks  of  the  army,  and  revived  that  warlike  tone  in  Prus- 
sian feeling  that  had  almost  died  out  since  the  war  of 
emancipation.  This  martial  temper,  once  aroused, 
smoothed  many  difficulties  from  Prince  William's  path, 
after  his  accession  to  the  throne,  and  may  with  truth  be 
said  to  have  ignited  the  enthusiasm  which,  blown  into  a 
flame  by  Prussia's  first  successes  in  the  field,  burnt  brightly 
and  more  brightly  throughout  the  momentous  period  of 
transition  inaugurated  by  the  campaign  of  1864,  until,  in 
the  spring  of  1866,  it  suddenly  burst  into  a  furious  blaze, 
and,  annihilating  all  that  stood  in  its  way,  swept  along 
with  awful  might,  an  irresistible  torrent  of  roaring  fire 
that  consumed  Prussia's  ^favorite  foes'  and  Germany^s 
ancient  fetters  in  one  grand  and  terrible  conflagration." 



IT  WAS  during  the  parliamentary  wrangle  under  the 
regency  of  William  that,  on  January  1, 1861,  the  King 
breathed  his  last.  The  following  day  Prince  William 
ascended  the  Prussian  throne,  in  his  sixty-fourth  year,  as 
William  I. 

The  anticipations  of  the  people  that  the  new  King 
would  at  once  enter  upon  a  course  of  political  reforms 
were  not  realized ;  to  the  contrary,  it  soon  became  evident 
that  William  was  now  more  than  ever  determined  upon 
carrying  out  his  cherished  plan,  to  reorganize  and 
strengthen  the  army;  the  Chamber,  however,  remained 
firm  in  its  refusal  to  pass  a  permanent  measure  for  an 
increase  of  men  and  expenditure,  and  strictly  adhered  to 
this  opinion,  that  the  two  years'  term  of  military  service  was 
sufficient  to  educate  the  youth  in  the  drill  and  duties  of  a 
soldier.  Public  sentiment  was  rapidly  drifting  away  from 
the  new  King,  and  seemed  to  have  reached  a  culminating 
point  in  the  attempt  upon  his  life  by  the  young  student, 
Oscar  Becker,  at  Baden-Baden,  who  afterward  declared 
that  his  conviction  of  the  King's  inability  to  fulfill 
Prussia's  mission,  had  impelled  him  to  commit  the  deed. 

In  order  to  disabuse  the  minds  of  the  people,  and  of 
their  representatives,  that,  by  conceding  to  them  a  Con- 
stitution, the  Kingly  dignity  and  power,  **  By  the  Grace  ot 
God,"  had  also  suffered  some  modifications,  the  anti- 
quated exhibition  of  a  pompous  coronation  of  the  King, 



with  all  the  splendor  of  by -gone  days,  was  resolved  upon. 
These  coronation  ceremonies  took  place  at  Konigsberg 
on  the  18th  of  October,  1861.  The  following  is  the  de 
scription  of  the  occasion  by  an  eye-witness : 

''  The  first  time  I  saw  the  King  was  when  he  rode  in 
procession  through  the  ancient  city  of  Konigsberg,  some 
two  or  three  days  before  the  coronation.  He  seemed  a 
firm,  dignified,  handsome,  somewhat  bluflf  old  man,  with 
gray  hair,  and  gray  mustache,  and  an  expression  which 
if  it  did  not  denote  intellectual  ix)wer,  had  much  of  cheer- 
ful strength  and  the  charm  of  frank  manhood  about  it. 
No  one  was  just  then  disposed  to  be  very  enthusiastic 
about  him,  but  everyone  was  inclined  to  make  the  best  of 
the  sovereign  and  the  situation.  But  the  manner  in  which 
the  coronation  ceremony  was  conducted,  and  the  speech 
which  the  King  delivered  soon  after,  produced  a  terrible 
shock  of  disappointment,  for  in  each  the  King  manifested 
that  he  understood  the  crown  to  be  a  gift,  not  from  the 
people  but  from  heaven.  To  me  the  ceremony  in  the 
chapel,  splendid  and  picturesque  as  it  was,  the  miae  en 
sc€7ie^  appeared  absurd  and  even  ridiculous.  The  King, 
bedizened  in  a  regal  costume,  lifting  a  crown  from 
the  altar,  and,  without  intervention  of  human  aid 
other  than  his  own  hands,  placing  it  upon  his  head,  to 
signify  that  he  had  his  crown  from  heaven,  not  from  man ; 
then  putting  another  crown  upon  the  h^d  of  his  wife,  to 
show  that  she  derived  her  dignities  from  him,  and  then 
turning  round  and  brandishing  a  gigantic  sword,  as 
symbolical  of  his  readiness  to  defend  the  state  and  people 
— all  this  seemed  to  me  too  suggestive  of  the  opera  com- 
ique  to  suit  the  simple  dignity  of  the  handsome  olil 
soldier.    Far  better  and  nobler  did  he  look  in  his  military 


AS   KING   WILLIAM    I.  OF   PRUSSIA.  351 

ttniform,  and  with  his  spiked  helmet,  as  he  sat  on  Ijis 
horse  in  the  streets,  than  when  arrayed  in  crimson  velvet 
cloak  and  other  such  stage  paraphernalia  of  conventional 

"  'There  is  just  this  to  say  about  him,'  said  Earl  Clar- 
endon, the  British  envoy  at  the  coronation,  'he  is  an 
honest  man  and  a  man  of  his  word ;  he  is  not  a  Corsican 
conspirator.'  Yes,  this  was  the  character  of  the  King  of 
Prussia ;  in  good  and  evil  he  kept  his  word. 

"  It  is  a  matter  of  conmion  notoriety  that  the  acts  and 
words  of  the  Kin^  at  this  crowning  ceremony  did  not  im- 
press the  people  with  the  deep  conviction  that  his  reign 
would  be  a  Constitutional  one ;  but,  to  tlie  contrary,  they 
were  looked  upon  as  new  declarations  of  absolute  rule. 
Under  such  circumstances  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that 
the  people  turned  away  from  the  ruler  they  mistrusted, 
calling  upon  their  leaders  to  stand  between  them  and  a 
military  despot.  The  next  Chamber,  which  met  after  the 
coronation,  proved  conclusively  that  these  were  the  pre- 
vailing sentiments  of  the  country.  A  large  number  of 
representatives  had  been  elected  upon  the  positive  under- 
standing that  they  were  to  give  support  to  Government 
measures  only  upon  condition  that  the  Government  would 
pursue  a  liberal  policy  at  home  and  a  decided  German 
policy  abroad." 

Commenting  upon  this  unseemly  effort  of  the  Prussian 
King,  to  rejuvenate  the  exploded  doctrine  of  the  Divine 
right  of  Kings  an  English  writer  says : 

"But  the  King's  enunciation  of  the  Divine  right  of 
Kings,  and  his  further  announcement  that  he  entered  into 
no  obligation  to  regard  the  Diet  as  a  Parliament,  gave  rise 
to  much  solicitude  in  England.     The  Prince  Consort 


wrote  to  Baron  Stockmar :  '  The  speeches  of  the  King  of 
Prussia  at  Konigsberg  have  produced  a  bad  impression 
here,  and  the  theory  of  the  Divine  right  of  Kings  (apart 
from  being  an  absurdity  in  itself,  and  exploded  here  for 
the  last  two  hundred  j^ears)  is  suitable  neither  to  the  po- 
sition and  vocation  of  Prussia,  nor  to  those  of  the  King. 
The  difficulty  of  establishing  united  action  between  Prus- 
sia and  England  has  been  again  infinitely  augmented  by 
this  royal  programme.' " 

Upon  the  assembling  of  the  Prussian  representatives 
in  January,  1862,  a  hostile  majority  confronted  the  King, 
and  after  a  fruitless  wrangle  between  the  King's  ministry 
and  the  representatives  of  the  people  over  the  budgx^t  for 
military  expenditures,  the  House  was  dissolved  by  King 
William,  on  the  11th  of  March,  and  the  resignation  of  the 
unpopular  ministry  accepted. 

A  new  ministrv,  with  Prince  Hohenlohe  as  Premier, 
was  called  by  the  King,  and  instructions  given  to  lay  be- 
fore the  voters  the  urgent  necessity  of  furnishing  the  gov- 
ernment Parliamentary  support.  These  instructions  were 
resented  by  the  people,  as  undue  interference  in  free 
elections,  and  had  the  very  contrary  effect,  to-wit :  that 
of  increasing  the  majority  of  the  opposition  against  Wil- 
liam in  the  House.  The  recommendations  of  the  King 
were  more  resolutely  resisted  than  ever,  and  the  argu-' 
ments  of  the  Ministry  were  met  by  a  flat  refusal  to  allow 
an  increase  in  army  expenditures.  In  this  emergency, 
the  King's  urgent  cry  for,  "  A  man,  a  man ! "  reminds  one 
of  King  Richard  III.,  when,  for  a  horse  he  oflfered  half 
his  kingdom.  The  English  King  did  not  get  his  horse, 
but  the  King  of  Prussia,  more  lucky,  got  his  man — the 
man  that  was  to  carry  him,  not  only  over  these  Parlia- 


mentarian  difficulties,  but  eventually  to  place  him  upon  the 
imperial  throne  of  Germany.  His  name  was  Otto  von 
Bismarck-Schonhausen.  The  first  time  William  I  met 
this  subject  of  his  was  at  a  Prussian  court  ball,  in  1834, 
when  he  was  much  struck  by  two  youths  of  lofty  stature, 
who  were  introduced  to  him  by  the  Master  of  the  Cere- 
monies, upon  which  he  pleasantly  remarked:  "Well,  it 
seems  that  justice  npw-a-days  recruits  her  youngsters  in 
conformity  to  the  guard's  standard  1 "  The  youths  were 
lawyers  practicing  in  the  Berlin  courts,  and  the  taller  of 
the  two  was  none  other  than  Otto  Augustus  Leopold  von 
Bismarck.  This  was  the  first  glimpse  which  the  Kaiser 
and  the  Chancellor  had  of  each  other. 

BisMABCK  was  born  in  1815  and  came  of  a  distinguished 
family  some  of  whom  had  been  prominent  military  men 
under  the  Electors  of  Brandenburg  and  the  Kings  of  Prus- 
sia. At  the  age  of  seventeen  he  was  sent  to  Oottingen  to 
study  law  and  political  economy.  A  year  later  he  entered 
the  University  of  Berlin,  and  in  1835  was  admitted  to  the 
bar.  During  the  stormy  period  of  1847  he  was  a  delegate 
of  the  Saxon  nobility  to  the  Diet,  and  caUed  the  attention 
of  the  Germans  upon  himself  by  his  violent  opposition  to 
the  demanded  reforms  of  the  people. 

After  the  revolution  of  '48  he  attended  an  assembly  of 
the  country  nobility  called  the  Junker  Parliament.  From 
1849  to  '50  he  was  a  member  of  the  second  Chamber  of  the 
Prussian  Diet.  He  was  a  strong  advocate  of  increased 
monarchical  powers  and  the  consolidation  of  the  German 
nationality  by  the  joint  action  of  Austria  and  Prussia.  In 
1851  he  was  appointed  by  Frederick  William  IV.  Prussian 
embassador  to  the  Germanic  Diet  at  Frankfort,  when  he 
changed  his  views  in  regard  to  Austria's  pretensions  and 


showed  so  much  opposition  that  for  prudential  reasons  he 
was  sent  as  embassador  to  Russia,  remaining  there  until 
1862,  when  he  was  transferred  to  Paris.  Six  months  after 
he  was  recalled,  and  succeeded  Prince  Hohenzollern  as  head 
of  the  administration  and  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs. 

The  tone  of  the  liberal  press  towards  him  was  neither 
friendly  nor  complimentary.  It  soon  began  to  be  appar- 
ent that  if  Bismarck  could  not  command  their  respect 
he  would  compel  their  submission.  He  foreshadowed  his 
policy  in  the  following  language : 

"It  is  not  by  speechifying  and  majorities  that  the 
great  questions  of  the  times  will  have  to  be  decided,  but 
by  blood  and  ironP 

His  acts  followed  his  words ;  for  the  amounts 
demanded  for  the  army  reorganization  having  been 
rejected  by  the  House,  at  the  close  of  the  session 
Bismarck  informed  its  members,  in  the  name  of  the  King, 
"  that  the  Budget  for  the  year  1862,  as  decreed  by  the 
Lower  Chamber,  having  been  rejected  by  the  Upper 
Chamber  on  the  ground  of  insufficiency,  the  Government 
of  his  Majesty  is  under  the  necessity  of  carrying  out  the 
Budget  as  it  was  originally  laid  before  the  Lower  House, 
without  taking  cognizance  of  the  conditions  prescribed  by 
the  Constitution.^^ 

This  declaration,  so  startling  to  the  country,  was  noth- 

j  ing  more  nor  less  than  a  plain  notice  to  the  people's  rep- 

';  resentatives  that  the  money  required  would  be  raised  in 

\the   usual    way   by  the   Government,    Chamber  or  no 

IChamber,  to-wit,  in  open  violation  of  the  Constitution. 

>The  same  policy  was  pursued  in  1863.    The  King's  speech 

was  read  by  Bismarck,  in  which  the  representatives  were 

reminded  that  "  if  by  their  decisions  with  regard  to  the 


expenditures  they  had  the  right  to  simply  do  away  with 
the  army  organization,  also  if  they  had  the  right  to  con- 
trol the  relations  between  the  King  and  his  Ministers, 
they  would  be  de  facto  in  possession  of  complete  power  of 
the  government  of  the  country."  This  interpretation  of 
the  prerogatives  of  the  Chamber  was  not  however  that  of 
the  HohenzoUem  William,  nor  of  his  Prime  Minister. 

The  King's  address  raised  immediate  opposition  in  the 
Chambers,  as  well  as  throughout  the  country,  which  re- 
sulted in  a  counter  address  to  the  King,  in  which  his 
Majesty  was  plainly  told,  that  since  the  last  session  his 
ministers  had  carried  on  the  government  against  the  Con- 
stitution and  without  a  legal  Budget ;  that  the  supreme 
right  of  the  representatives  of  the  people  had  thereby 
been  attacked.  The  country  had  been  alarmed  and  had 
stood  by  its  representatives.  Abuses  of  the  power  of  the 
Government  were  now  taking  phice  just  as  in  the  sad 
years  preceding  the  Regency.  "Your  Majesty,"  they 
continued,  "recently  declared  that  nobody  ought  to 
doubt  your  intention  of  maintaining  the  Constitution; 
but  the  Constitution  has  already  been  violated  by  the 
Ministers.  Our  position  imposes  on  us  the  most  urgent 
duty  of  solemnly  declaring  that  peace  at  home  and  power 
abroad  can  only  be  restored  by  the  return  of  the  Govern- 
ment to  a  Constitutional  state  of  things." 

The  King's  reply,  "that* he  recognized  the  right  of 
the  representatives  of  the  people  to  grant  expenditures, 
but  that  since  they  had  not  come  to  an  agreement,  he 
was  in  duty  bound  to  carry  on  the  Government  without 
their  assistance,"  did  not  mend  matters.  The  sessions  of 
the  Chambers  again  become  scenes  of  charges  and  denials, 
recriminations  and  disclamations   between    the  King's 


premier  and  the  representatives.  Bismarck  had  become 
B(}  aggressive  as  to  openly  defy  the  aathority  of  the  Pres- 
ident of  the  Chamber.  The  public  press  thereupon  taking 
sides  with  the  representatives,  Bismarck  made  it  his  next 
object  of  attack. 

.  During  tliis  reactionary  course  pursued  by  the  King 
and  his  Minister,  it  is  a  pleasure  to  refer  to  the  fact  that 
the  Crown  Prince  (present  Emperor  of  Germany)  was 
openly  opposed  to  this  plain  violation  of  the  Constitution. 
In  a  letter  written  by  him  to  his  father,  May  31,  1863,  he 
says : 

*^  Expressions  which  you  have  lately  made  use  of 
in  my  presence,  regarding  the  possibility  of  forcing  your 
measures  upon  the  country,  oblige  me  to  speak  out  on  the 
subject.  •  On  dismissing  the  Auerswald  Cabinet  you  told 
mo  that,  being  more  liberal  than  yourself,  I  had  now  got 
an  opportunity  for  enacting  the  usual  part  of  a  Crown 
Prince,  to-wit:  throwing  difficulties  in  the  way  of  your 
Government.  At  that  time  I  promised  to  maintain  silence, 
and  oflfor  no  opposition.  Intending  to  keep  my  promise, 
as  I  do,  I  yet  feel  it  my  duty  to  speak  to  you  in  private. 
I  beseech  you,  my  dearest  father,  not  to  invade  the  law  in 
the  way  you  hinted.  Nobody  is  more  fully  aware  than 
myself  that  to  you  an  oath  is  a  sacred  thing,  and  not  to  be 
trifled  with.  But  the  position  of  a  sovereign  in  regard  to 
his  ministers  is  sometimes  very  difficult.  Skilled  as  they 
arc  in  the  lawyer's  art,  and  expert  at  interpretation,  they 
know  how  to  represent  a  measure  as  fair  and  necessary, 
and  by  degrees  to  force  a  sovereign  into  a  path  very 
diflforont  from  that  which  he  intended  to  tread." 

A  few  days  later,  on  the  3d  of  June,  Bismarck  re- 
ceived a  letter  from  the  Crown  Prince,  in  which  as  a  mem- 


ber  of  the  Council  of  State,  he  earnestly  protested  against 
the  order  muzzling  the  press : 

*'  I  deem  the  proceedings  of  the  Cabinet,"  the  Prince 
says,  "to  be  both  illegal  and  injurious  to  the  State  and 
the  dynasty.  I  declare  the  measure  to  have  been  taken 
without  my  wishing  and  knowing  it,  and  I  protest  against 
any  inferences  and  ascriptions  to  be  possibly  based  upon 
my  relation  to  the  Council  of  State." 

Having  given  expression  to  similar  sentiments,  in  the 
reply  to  the  address  of  welcome  by  the  municipal  author- 
ities at  Dantzic,  the  King  became  angry  and  demanded 
an  apology  from  his  son  under  the  threat  of  recall  and 
discharge  from  the  army.  But  the  conscientious  Frederick 
was  not  to  be  intimidated,  nor  driven  from  a  position 
which  he  believed  to  be  honorable  and  correct.  A  lengthy 
reply  to  his  father  closes  with  the  foflowing  manly  state- 

"I  can  retract  nothing  of  what  I  have  said.  All  I 
can  do  is  to  keep  silent.  Should  you  wish  me  to  do  so, 
I  hereby  lay  at  your  feet  my  commission  in  the  army  and 
my  seat  in  the  Council  of  State.  I  beg  you  to  appoint 
me  a  place  of  residence,  or  permit  me  to  select  one  for 
myself,  either  in  Prussia  or  abroad.  If  I  am  not  allowed 
to  speak  my  mind,  I  must  naturally  wish  to  dissolve  my- 
self from  the  sphere  of  politics." 

Such  courageous  expressions  from  the  Crown  Prince,  at 
a  time  of  great  excitement  in  his  country  over  his  father's 
disregard  of  his  oath,  gives  a  glimpse  of  his  character  at 
the  time.  His  father,  it  seems,  did  not  accept  his  offer, 
and  the  death  of  Frederick  VII.  of  Denmark  soon  follow- 
ing, which  threatened  new  complications,  the  affair  was 
allowed  to  drop  out  of  sight. 

360  pfimofi  WILLIAM 

Everyone  had  slumbered  in  the  fanciful  hope  that  the 
hereditary  claim  upon  the  Schleswig-Holstein  Duchies 
hud  found  its  final  and  definite  settlement  in  what  was 
called  "  The  London  Protocol,"  entered  into  in  1852.  It 
must  be  remembered  that  the  claims  had  been  purely  those 
of  different  Princes,  without  the  slightest  regard  to  the 
1,000,000  of  inhabitants  composing  these  provinces. 
Three-fourths  of  them  being  Germans,  with  German  pre- 
dilections and  aspirations,  they  naturally  sympathized 
with  Germany,  and  had  their  inclinations  been  consulted 
by  the  contracting  powers  in  '62,  a  peaceful  incorporation 
of  the  Duchies  with  Prussia,  their  nearest  neighbor,  would 
have  been  the  result.  In  1848  this  public  sentiment  had 
asserted  itself  by  a  demand  for  a  union  between  the  two 
Duchies,  indei)endent  of  Denmark,  and  by  a  request  upon 
Germany  for  mUitary  assistance. 

This  repetition  of  what  has  been  said  before  is  necessary 
to  a  full  understanding  of  this  question,  which  had  vexed  the 
ingenuity  of  European  statesmen  for  nearly  a  quarter  of 
a  century.  Under  the  prevailing  conditions  the  question 
resolved  itself  into  the  simple  query,  Who  shall  have  the 
territory  ? 

On  the  6th  of  December,  subsequent  to  the  King's 
death.  Christian  IX.,  the  new  King  of  Denmark  issued 
his  proclamation  to  the  effect  that  he  would  maintain  the 
integrity  of  the  Kingdom,  including  Sclileswig-Holstein, 
with  an  armed  force  if  necessarj'^.  This  was  a  notice  to 
the  German  Confederation  to  keep  its  hands  off,  which 
notice  was  answered  by  the  Frankfort  Diet  with  an  order 
for  a  contingent  of  the  army  of  the  German  Confederation, 
for  the  object  of  occupying  the  Duchies  forthwith.  The 
King  of  Denmark,  expecting  the  assistance  of  England 


and  France,  at  once  occupied  the  Dannewirks — theretofore 
considered  an  impregnable  stronghold  —  with  30,000  men 
under  General  Meza.  After  a  severe  battle  between  the 
Danes  and  the  Germans  in  February,  General  Meza  was 
compelled  to  retreat.  In  the  following  month  o'f  April 
the  Pinssians  under  the  command  of  Prince  Frederick 
Charles,  nephew  of  King  William,  took  the  strongly 
intrenched  "Duppler- works"  by  assault,  causing  a  loss  of 
5,000  men  to  the  Danes  and  capturing  120  guns. 

An  ineffectual  attempt  to  come  to  an  amicable  under- 
standing was  made  during  a  six  weeks'  armistice,  but  all 
overtures  being  rejected  by  the  King  of  Denmark,  hostil- 
ities were  again  resumed  on  the  26th  of  June.  On  the  29th 
the  Prussians,  under  Frederick  Charles,  defeated  the  Danes 
between  Dlippel  and  the  Island  of  Alson,  inflicting  a  loss 
of  4,000  men  and  100  guns. 

Soon  after  Jutland  was  also  occupied  by  Prussian  and 
Austrian  troops.  This  ended  the  campaign.  On  the  12th 
of  July  the  Danish  King  sued  for  peace,  which  was  finally 
concluded  in  Vienna,  and  by  which  the  Duchies  were 
unconditionally  ceded  to  Prussia  and  Austria. 

All  German  troops  but  those  of  the  latter  two  powers 
were  npw  withdrawn  from  the  Duchies,  and  Austria, 
keenly  appreciating  the  fact  that  geographical  lines 
would  prevent  her  from  ever  reaping  substantial  benefit 
from  this  accession,  would  have  readily  consented  to 
follow  suit  had  Prussia  consented  to  cede  to  her  a  small 
jKjrtion  of  Silesia  in  compensation  for  her  share  in  the 
Schleswig-IIolstein  Duchies.  But  this  proposition  was 
promptly  rejected  by  the  King.  Other  propositions  for 
a  compromise  which  were  made  reciprocally  met  the 
same  fate,  and  in  1865  the  tension  between  the  two  great 


copartners  in  the  Duchy  proprietorship  had  reached  the 
snapping  point,  and  war  between  Austria  and  Prussia 
was  only  temporarily  averted  by  the  convention  at 
Gastein^  where  the  two  powers  were  respectively  repre- 
sented by  Bismarck  and  Count  Bloom.  The  treaty  there 
concluded,  and  subsequently  ratified  at  Salzburg  by  the 
sovereigns  of  Prussia  and  Austria,  transferred  Schleswig  to 
Prussia  and  Holstein  to  Austria.  In  consideration  of  two 
and  a  half  million  dollars  Austria  ceded  all  her  rights  in  the 
Duchy  of  Lauenburg  to  Prussia.  The  eminent  diplomatic 
services  rendered  by  Bismarck  were  rewarded  by  King 
William  with  the  title  of  Count.  By  this  treaty  Pinissia, 
or  rather  Germany,  had  come  into  possession  of  a  fine  piece 
of  territory  and  a  number  of  excellent  harbors  in  the 

The  English  Premier,  Earl  Russell,  gave  vent  to  his  dis- 
gust at  sight  of  a  division  of  European  territory,  in  which 
Great  Britain  had  no  part,  in  the  following  sententious 
language : 

"  All  rights,  old  or  new,  whether  based  upon  a  solemn 
agreement  between  sovereigns  or  on  the  clear  and  precise 
expression  of  the  popular  will,  have  been  trodden  under 
foot  by  the  Gastein  Convention,  and  the  authority  of 
force  is  the  sole  power  which  has  been  consulted  and  rec- 
ognized. Violence  and  conquest,  such  are  the  only  bases 
upon  which  the  dividing  Powers  have  established  their 
Convention.  Her  Majesty's  Government  greatly  deplores 
the  disregard  thus  manifested  for  the  principles  of  public 
law  and  the  legitimate  claim  that  a  people  may  raise  to 
be  heard  when  their  destiny  is  called  into  question." 

That  this  arbitrary  division  of  Schleswig- Holstein  was 
received  with  jealousy  mingled  with  a  feeling  of  dread 






































both  by  France  and  England,  is  discernible  in  the  tone  of 
the  diplomatic  correspondence  held  at  that  time  between 
the  ministers  of  foreign  affairs  of  France  and  of  England 
respectively.  A  letter  from  the  French  Secretary  contains 
the  following  ebullition  of  righteous  indignation  at  the 
amicable  arrangement  between  the  two  foreign  Powers : 

"Upon  what  principle  does  the  Austro-Prussian  com- 
bination rest  ?  We  regret  to  find  no  other  foundation  for 
it  than  force,  no  other  justification  than  the  reciprocal 
convenience  of  the  co-sharers.  This  is  a  mode  of  dealing 
to  which  the  Europe  of  to-day  has  become  unaccustomed, 
and  precedents  for  it  must  be  sought  for  in  the  darkest 
ages  of  history.  Violence  and  conquest  pervert  the 
notion  of  right  and  the  conscience  of  nations." 

The  cool  assurance  of  this  epistle  is  especially  refresh- 
ing, coming  from  a  country  whose  policy  is  territorial 

But  Count  Bismarck's  time  and  attention  were  occu- 
pied with  too  serious  matters  at  home  to  allow  himself  to 
be  drawn  into  lengthy  diplomatic  controversies  with 
foreign  nations.  The  relative  position  between  the 
Crown  and  the  people's  representatives  was  as  unsatis- 
factory as  ever,  and  the  breach  between  them  seemed  to 
grow  wider  from  day  to  day. 

The  Liberal  party  in  Prussia,  and  in  fact  all  over  Ger- 
many, seemed  to  be  struck  with  the  blind  hallucination 
that  the  unification  of  Germany  could  only  be  secured 
through  Austria.  They  despised  and  cursed  the  Bismarck 
ministry,  fervently  wishing  its  downfall,  and  this  senti- 
ment was  carefully  nursed  among  the  rural  population  of 
Southern  Germany  by  the  Ultramontane  portion  of  the 
Catholics.    Prussia  is  troubled  with  the  "  big  head, "  they 


said,  let  us  knock  it  oat  of  her.  This  hostile  sentiment 
against  Prussia,  but  more  especially  against  Bismarck, 
had  grown  to  such  an  intensity  that  on  the  7th  of  May, 
1866,  a  young  man  by  the  name  of  Blind,  son  of  the  well- 
known  Karl  Blind,  felt  himself  called  upon  to  "  remove 
the  tyrant,"  an  attempt  which,  fortunately  for  Germany, 
was  unsuccessful.  In  the  meantime  the  relations  between 
Prussia  and  Austria  had  become  strained,  owing  to  some 
supposed  intrigues  of  the  latter  in  the  Schleswig-Holstein 
principalities.  They  began  charging  each  other  with  bad 
faith  in  reference  to  the  Gastein  stipulations,  when  Aus- 
tria, feeling  her  strength  in  the  German  Diet,  gave  notice 
to  the  Prussian  Government  that  she  would  submit  the 
Sclileswig-IIolstein  question  to  that  federal  body  for  set- 
tlement. In  the  meantime  Austria  was  arming.  As  early 
as  April,  1866,  Count  Bismarck  had  submitted  a  propo- 
sition to  the  German  Diet  to  issue  a  call  for  a  German 
Parliament,  based  upon  universal  suffrage ;  but  the  prop- 
osition had  been  rejected  by  all  the  States  except  Baden, 
Mecklenburg-Schwerin,  and  a  few  of  the  smaller  Princi- 
palities. Under  these  circumstances  both  King  William 
and  his  ministers,  deeming  it  a  matter  of  self-preservation, 
resolved  to  look  elsewhere  for  a  reliable  ally  in  case  of  an 
emergency,  and  they  found  one  in  King  Victor  Emanuel 
of  Italy.  By  a  secret  understanding  it  was  mutually 
agreed,  in  case  of  a  war  with  Austria,  not  to  retire  from 
the  conflict  until  Venice  had  been  secured  by  Italy  and 
Schleswig-Holstein  by  Prussia. 

On  the  14th  of  June,  1866,  the  die  was  to  be  cast. 
Peace  or  war  lay  in  the  hands  of  the  German  Diet.  It 
decided  for  war,  by  agreeing,  in  spite  of  Prussia's  protest, 
to  entertain  the  Austrian  proposition  concerning  the  ques- 

AS   KIKG  WILLIAM  1.  OF  1»KUSSIA.  36t 

tion  of  Schleswig-Holstein  by  a  vote  of  nine  to  six.  After 
this  vote  the  Prussian  representative  left  the  session  with 
the  remark  that  Prussia  would  now  rely  upon  herself 

There  was  great  rejoicing  among  Austria's  adherents, 
and  speculations  were  rife  as  to  which  of  them  would 
secure  this  or  that  portion  of  Prussia,  when,  as  it  was  surely 
predicted,  that  Kingdom  would  be  dismembered  and  par- 
celed out  among  the  victors.  Not  even  France  was  for- 
gotten in  the  division  of  this  one  German  Kingdom,  which 
more  than  once  had  stood  like  a  wall  against  the  dis- 
memberment of  Germany  by  foreign  enemies. 

"  These  gentlemen  are  underestimating  us,"  said  Bis- 
marck, upon  hearing  of  these  prognostications;  "the  world 
will  be  astounded  at  the  power  this  divided  Prussia  will 
develop  in  an  emergency." 

And  so  it  happened.  The  campaign  of  but  a  few  weeks' 
duration  which  followed,  was  sufficient  to  bring  the 
victorious  banners  of  Prussia  to  the  very  doors  of 
Austria's  capital ;  that  long  expected  moment  was  near  at 
hand  when  the  King  would  be  able  to  prove  that  his  inde- 
fatigable efforts  toward  the  effectiveness  of  Prussian  arms 
were  an  inspiration,  and  when  the  cause  for  his  apparently 
autocratic  opposition  to  the  representatives  would  be 
understood  and  his  action  approved. 

Events,  as  they  have  since  transpired,  conclusively 
demonstrated  the  fact  that  Prussian  supremacy  in  Ger- 
many was  absolutely  essential  to  the  unification  of  the 
country  upon  a  Constitutional  basis. 

For  centuries  the  destinies  of  Germany  had  been  con- 
trolled by  the  Hapsburg  dynasty,  and  what  was  the 
result  ?     A  divided  and  oppressed  people  at  home,  and  a 


convenient  foot-ball  for  foreign  assumption.  Austria, 
with  her  reactionary  tendencies,  and  her  subserviency  to 
Papal  dictation  was  but  a  living  tradition  of  past  ages. 
She  was  the  natural  enemy  of  intellectual  and  poUtical 
progress,  and,  with  her  most  varied  population  of  Magyars 
and  Slavs,  was  no  further  advanced  nor  had  higher 
aspirations  than  had  her  near  Eussian  neighbor.  The 
faintest  attempts  of  her  people  to  liberalize  their  institu- 
tions, or  better  their  political  condition,  were  met  with  the 
most  pronounced  and  decisive  punishment.  Inadvertent 
expressions  were  interpreted  as  treason,  and  high-minded 
women  were  publicly  whipped  at  the  pillory  for  honesty  of 
expression.  The  country  was  ruled  by  military  satraps. 
She  was  the  first  German  State  to  repudiate  the  Constitu- 
tion wrung  from  her  in  184:9.  Under  her  leadership  were 
Germans  from  Prussia,  Bavaria,  WUrtemberg,  Baden, 
Saxony,  Hanover,  Hesse,  Mecklenburg  and  Austria,  but  not 
Germany,  and  they  have  only  become  Germans  of  Ger- 
many through  Prussia's  happy  interference  and  elevation 
to  imperial  power. 

In  the  face  of  all  these  facts,  the  Emperor  of  Austria 
had  the  audacity,  on  the  17tti  of  June,  1866,  just  before 
the  opening  of  the  hostilities,  in  a  manifesto,  to  call  upon 
the  world  as  a  witness  to  the  justness  of  his  cause. 

Kef  erring  to  the  perfidious  action  of  his  representative 
at  the  Frankfort  Diet,  in  his  attempt  to  entrap  Prussia 
into  submitting  the  Schleswig-Holstein  question  to  this 
Austria-disposed  body,  he  says : 

"  While  engaged  in  a  work  of  peace,  which  was 
undertaken  for  the  purpose  of  laying  the  foundation  for 
a  Constitution  which  should  augment  the  unity  and 
power  of  the  Empire,  and  at  the  same  time  secure  to  my 

V\tt  <Sen(TationnL 

Suffa  IBithlin  1.,  611D11,  linM  unb  ninlcl. 

Four  Qenerations 

limperor  William  I.,  Son,  Qnnd-bou  and  Greac-Grand-SOD. 


several  countries  and  peoples  free  internal  development, 
my  duties  as  a  sovereign  have  obliged  me  to  place  my 
whole  army  under  arms.  On  the  frontiers  of  my  Empire, 
in  the  south  and  in  the  north,  stand  the  armies  of  two 
enemies  who  have  allied  with  the  intention  of  breaking 
the  power  of  Austria  as  a  great  European  State.  To 
neither  of  those  enemies  have  I  given  cause  for  war.  I 
call  on  an  Omniscient  God  to  bear  witness  that  I  have 
always  considered  it  my  first,  my  most  sacred  duty,  to  do 
all  in  my  power  to  secure  for  my  peoples  the  blessings  of 

"  The  negotiations  with  Prussia  in  respect  to  the  Elbe 
Duchies  clearly  proved  that  a  settlement  of  the  question 
in  a  way  compatible  with  the  dignity  of  Austria,  and  with 
the  rights  and  interests  of  Germany  and  the  Duchies, 
could  not  be  brought  about,  as  Prussia  was  violent  and 
intent  on  conquest.  The  negotiations  were  therefore 
broken  off,  the  whole  affair  was  referred  to  the  Bund, 
and  at  the  same  time  the  legal  representatives  of  Holstein 
were  convoked. 

"  The  danger  of  war  induced  the  three  Powers — France, 
England  and  Russia — to  invite  my  Government  to  par- 
ticipate in  general  conferences,  the  object  of  which  was 
to  be  the  maintenance  of  peace.  My  Government,  in 
accordance  with  my  views,  and  if  possible,  to  secure  the 
blessing  of  peace  for  my  peoples,  did  not  refuse  to  share 
in  the  conferences,  but  made  their  acceptance  dependent 
on  the  confirmation  of  the  supposition  that  the  public  law 
of  Europe  and  the  existing  treaties  were  to  form  the  basis 
of  the  attempt  at  mediation,  and  tliat  the  Powers  repre- 
sented would  not  seek  to  uphold  special  interests  which 
could  be  prejudicial  to  the  balance  of  power  in  Europe, 


and  to  the  rights  of  Austria.  The  fact  that  the  attempt 
to  mediate  failed  because  these  natural  suppositions  were 
made,  is  a  proof  that  the  conferences  could  not  have  led 
to  the  maintenance*  of  peace.  Secent  events  clearly 
prove  that  Prussia  substitutes  open  violence  for  right  and 

"The  most  pernicious  of  wars — a  war  of  Germans 
against  Germans — has  become  inevitable,  and  I  now  sum- 
mon before  the  tribunal  of  history  —  before  the  tribunal 
of  an  eternal  and  all-powerful  God — those  persons  who 
have  brought  it  about,  and  make  them  responsible  for  the 
misfortunes  which  may  fall  on  individuals,  families,  dis- 
tricts, and  countries.  We  shall  not  be  alone  in  the  strug- 
gle which  is  about  to  take  place.  The  princes  and  people 
of  Germany  know  that  liberty  and  independence  are  men- 
aced by  a  Power  which  listens  but  to  the  dictates  of  ego- 
tism, and  is  under  the  influence  of  an  ungovernable  crav- 
ing after  aggrandizement ;  and  they  also  know  that  in 
Austria  they  have  an  upholder  of  ihefreedomy  power  and 
integrity  of  the  whole  of  the  German  Fatherland.  We 
and  our  German  brethren  have  taken  up  arms  in  defense 
of  the  most  precious  rights  of  nations.  We  have  been 
forced  to  do  so,  and  we  neither  can  nor  will  disarm  until 
the  internal  development  of  my  Empire  and  of  the  Ger- 
man States,  which  are  allied  with  it,  has  been  secured,  and 
also  their  power  and  influence  in  Europe.  My  hopes  are 
not  based  on  unity  of  purpose  —  on  power  alone.  I  con- 
fide in  an  Almighty  and  a  just  God,  whom  ijiy  house  from 
its  very  foundation  has  faithfully  served  —  a  God  who 
never  forsakes  those  who  righteously  put  their  trust  in 
Him.  To  Him  I  pray  for  assistance  and  success^  and  I 
call  on  my  people  to  join  me  in  that  prayer." 



ON  the  18th  of  June  this  Austrian  manifesto  was  fol- 
lowed by  a  proclamation  from  King  William  I.,  in 
which  he  called  the  Prussian  people  to  arms,  and  declared 
that  he  had  sought  friendly  relations  with  Austria  but  had 
been  treated  by  that  power  as  a  dangerous  and  hostile 
rival.  He  referred  to  his  policy  in  demanding  the  reor- 
ganization of  the  army,  and  pointed  with  pride  to  his 
achievement  in  that  direction.  In  closing  the  King  prom- 
ised in  case  of  victory  to  reconstitute  the  German  Con- 
federation upon  a  firm  basis.  The  proclamation  was  a 
fair  statement  of  facts,  and,  as  events  have  since  demon- 
strated, a  sincere  prognostication  of  Prussian  future  policy 
as  a  German  Power. 

The  shock  of  arms,  however,  was  soon  to  eclipse  the 
effect  of  manifesto  and  proclamation.  Tlie  assurance  of 
Austria's  friends  in  the  future  success  of  her  arms  was  not 
without  foundation.  Her  General-in-chief,  Field-Marshal 
Benedek,  was  an  experienced  soldier  with  a  well  established 
reputation,  and  his  army  of  270,000  well-drilled,  and  well- 
disciplined  soldiers,  stationed  in  Moravia,  were  believed 
to  be  in  as  good  fighting  order  as  the  troops  Prussia  would 
bring  against  them.  In  addition  to  this  formidable  army, 
the  auxiliary  forces  furnished  by  her  partly  voluntary, 
partly  compulsory  allies  of  the  different  German  States, 

aggregated  143,000  men,  placed  in  the  field  in  the  following 


874:  KING  WILLIAM  1. 

quotas:  Bavaria  30,000  men,  Saxony  24,000,  Hanover 
20,000,  Wiirtemberg  16,300,  Hesse-Darmstadt  9,400, 
Electorate  of  Hesse  7,000,  Nassau  6,400,  and  Baden,  geo- 
graphically so  situated  as  to  be  easily  coerced  by  Austria, 
had  to  contribute  a  contingency  of  10,900  men. 

Prussia  had  326,000  men  ready  to  take  the  field,  and  in 
an  emergency  could  rely  on  100,000  of  the  Landwehr  arm 
of  her  forces,  who  all  had  seen  military  service. 

Geographically,  Prussia  was  at  a  disadvantage  in  a  war 
with  Austria,  now  in  league  with  the  smaller  German 

Hanover  and  the  Electorate  of  Hesse  reached  far  into 
the  interior  of  her  dominion  on  the  West,  while  Saxony 
overlapped  her  territory  on  the  East.  Under  these  cir- 
cumstances, prompt  and  decisive  action  was  imperatively 
demanded.  The  governments  of  Saxony,  Hanover,  and  of 
Hesse-Cassel  were  informed  by  Bismarck  that  unless  they 
sided  with  Prussia  (in  which  case  the  sovereign  rights  of 
the  rulers  would  be  guaranteed)  war  would  be  declared 
against  them ;  to  this  proposition  an  answer  was  expected 
on  the  evening  of  the  day  upon  which  the  notice  was  dis- 
patched. Saxony  promptly  replied  "  No  I "  and  the  two 
others,  having  failed  to  reply  in  the  time  specified,  a  dec- 
laration of  war  was  instantly  made  by  the  Prussian 
Government  against  all  three.  Prussia  was  fully  prepared. 
While  King  William,  in  the  appointment  of  Bismarck,  had 
secured  for  his  affairs  of  state  a  man  of  extraordinarv 
genius,  he  had  also  been  as  favored  in  securing  the  military 
genius  of  the  age  for  his  affairs  of  war.  Bismarck,  having 
performed  his  task  in  the  diplomatic  field,  promptly  took 
his  position  in  the  rear,  allowing  his  masterly  colleague, 
General  Von  Moltke,  to  pass  to  the  front. 


Genebal  Von  Moltke,  or  rather  Ilelmuth  Karl  Bern- 
hard  von  Moltke,  was  born  at  Parchim,  Mecklenburg, 
in  1800.  His  father  was  a  general  in  the  Danish  army, 
and  young  Von  Moltke  passed  his  first  years  of  study 
at  the  Copenhagen  Military  Academy.  He  was  com- 
missioned at  the  age  of  eighteen,  and  at  twenty-two 
entered  the  Prussian  service.  After  ten  years'  labor  and 
hard  study  he  was  received  upon  the  general  staflf.  In 
1835  Mahmoud  II.  invited  him  to  Constantinople,  to  su- 
perintend the  fortifications  and  direct  the  warfare  against 
Egypt  and  the  troublesome  Kurds  of  Asia.  He  returned 
to  Berlin  after  the  Sultan's  death  in  1839,  and  was  employed 
until  1856  in  staflf  service,  when  he  became  adjutant  to 
Prince  Frederick  William,  and  two  years  later  Chief  of 
the  General  Staflf  of  the  army.  Ilis  great  success  as  a 
commander  has  been  due,  it  is  claimed,  to  his  military 
system  of  making  the  diflferent  army  corps  advance  sepa- 
rately and  operate  simultaneously  upon  a  given  point. 

While  the  two  monarchs  Avere  formulating  their  proc- 
lamations, Greneral  Von  Moltke  had  completed  his  prepa- 
rations for  war,  even  to  the  minutest  details.  The  com- 
manders of  the  diflferent  army  corps  only  waited  for  the 
word,  "Forward I"  through  the  click  of  the  telegraph, 
to  set  their  troops  in  motion. 

The  word  came,  and  on  the  next  day,  June  17th,  the 
Prussians  had  entered  Hanover,  and  on  the  18th  occupied 
Dresden,  Cassel  and  Leipsic.  The  Prince  of  Hesse  was 
taken  prisoner  and  sent  to  Stettin,  and  after  to  Konigs- 
berg  under  guard,  while  his  army  made  its  escape  south- 
ward. The  Saxon  army  of  23,000  also  withdrew  in  the 
same  direction,  finally  joining  the  Austrian  army  under 
General  Benedek.      King  George,  of  Hanover,  having 

?»76  KINO  WILLIAM   I. 

failed  to  effect  a  retreat  toward  Austria  in  time,  was  sur- 
rounded by  Prussian  forces  where,  expecting  Bavarian 
support,  he  dallied  away  his  time  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
Harz  Mountains  and  Thuringian  Forest.  His  object  was, 
also,  to  gain  time  for  negotiations  with  King  William,  in 
which  object  he  was  so  far  successful  as  to  receive  the 
same  offer  tendered  him  before  the  commencement  of 
hostilities.  An  honorable  surrender  and  alliance  with 
Prussia  was  not  satisfactory  to  this  unsagacious  monarch, 
whereupon  his  army  of  24.000  Hanoverians  was  attacked 
by  Genend  Flies,  with  a  Prussian  force  of  8,000,  at 
Langensalza,  on  the  27th  of  June.  Owing  to  the  great 
disparity  of  numbere  in  the  two  contending  forces,  the 
Prussians  suffered  a  defeat;  but  reinforcements  under 
Generals  Falkenstein  and  Manteuffel  having  reached  the 
scene  of  action  during  the  night  and  following  day.  King 
George  was  forced  to  surrender.  He  and  the  Crown 
Prince  were  permitted  to  repair  to  Vienna,  and  his  troops 
to  return  to  their  homes.  Immense  quantities  of  war 
supplies  were  added  to  the  Prus?van  army  by  this  first 
encounter.  Thus,  in  the  space  of  ten  days,  had  two-thinis 
of  Austria's  German  allied  forces  been  placed  hora  de 
eomhat,  and  without  even  an  attempt  at  united  resistance ; 
this  blow  in  the  West  had  resulted  from  the  total  absence 
of  such  precautionary  measures  as  a  plan  for  concentrated 
action  would  have  suggested. 

While  these  events  were  transpiring  in  the  smaller 
States  of  Austria's  contingent,  the  main  army  of  Prussia 
Lad  advanced  in  two  different  bodies  toward  the  Bohe- 
mian frontier,  under  the  respective  commands  of  Prince 
Frederick  Charles,  the  King  of  Prussia's  nephew,  and 
Crown  Prince  Frederick  William  (present  Emperor).    The 


troops  of  the  former  were  composed  of  the  Second,  Third, 
Fourth  and  Eighth  Army  Corps,  drawn  from  Pomerania, 
Brandenburg,  Saxony,  and  the  Ehinish  Provinces;  the 
latter  was  composed  of  the  First,  Fifth  and  Sixth  Corps 
from  Prussia,  Silesia,  and  Glatz,  and  was  under  the  direct 
command  of  General  Von  Bittenfeld. 

It  had  been  the  Austrian  General  Benedek's  intention 
to  transfer  the  seat  of  war  to  Prussian  territory,  in  oitier 
to  refresh  the  memory  of  these  Prussians  who  had  enjoyed 
a  long  period  of  peace  with  the  remembrance  of  former  Aus- 
trian invasions,  but  unfortunately  for  the  generous  inten- 
tion of  the  Austrian  commander,  General  Von  Moltke  had 
anticipated  his  intentions,  and  the  visit  was  postponed, 
for  while  General  Benedek  was  quietly  marching  his  troops 
from  Moravia  to  the  Elbe,  Saxony  was  as  quietly  being 
occupied  by  Prussian  divisions,  while  Prussian  soldiers  in 
large  numbers  were  already  appearing  upon  the  Austrian 
frontier.  This  uncivil  and  abrupt  conduct  of  General  Von 
Moltke  had  a  very  disconcerting  effect  upon  the  Austrian 
commander  Benedek,  who  now  decided  to  lay  in  wait 
for  the  enemy  on  the  Austrian  plains  near  the  mountain 

General  Bittenfeld,  with  his  40,000  troops  of  Rhine- 
landers,  marched  up  along  the  right  bank  of  the  Elbe  and 
entered  Bohemia  on  the  22d  of  June,  and  on  the  23d  the 
first  troop  followed  and  took  a  position  a  few  miles  east 
of  Bittenfeld.  Here  they  were  met  by  the  advance  body 
of  the  Austrian  army,  which  had  been  joined  by  the 
20,000  Saxon  auxiliaries,  making  60,000  under  the  com- 
mand of  Count  Clam-Gallas.  His  efforts  to  defend 
the  Iser  were  in  vain,  and  on  the  26th  of  June  Bittenfeld 
had  forced  his  way  at  HUnerwasser,  and  on  the  same  day 


the  First  corps,  after  a  severe  conflict  near  Podol,  made  a 
joint  attack  upon  Clam-Gallas,  defeating  him  after  a 
bloody  struggle  at  Mtlnchengratz,  and  compelling  his 
withdrawal  to  Getschin.  Had  the  Austrian  general  re- 
ceived sufficient  reinforcements  he  might  have  prevented 
the  junction  of  the  two  Prussian  armies  under  the  Crown 
Prince  with  Bittenfeld  and  Prince  Charles,  as  he  occupied 
a  strong  position  between  them.  Before  assistance  ar- 
rived, however,  he  was  again  attacked  by  Prince  Frederick 
Charles,  and  forced  to  retreat. 

In  the  meantime,  the  Crown  Prince  had  entered  Bo- 
hemia through  the  three  mountain  passes,  Elchenbach, 
Reichenberg,  and  Konigstein.  Upon  the  plains  at  the 
foot  of  the  mountains  the  Austrians  oflfered  determined 
resistance,  and  attempted  to  drive  the  Prussians  back  into 
the  passes.  At  Nachod,  General  Steinmetz  attacked  the 
Austrians,  and  after  a  bloody  encounter  took  2,500  pris- 
oners. On  June  28th  the  Crown  Prince  and  Steinmetz 
advanced  to  Skalitz,  which,  after  some  fighting,  was  taken. 
On  the  29th  the  Aupa  was  crossed,  the  Austrians  disput- 
ing the  ground  inch  by  inch,  until  Gradlitz,  in  the  valley 
of  the  Elbe,  was  reached,  when  another  battle  took  place, 
but  the  Austrians  were  driven  from  the  field  and  forced 
to  seek  shelter  under  the  guns  of  the  strong  citadel  of 
Josephstadt.  During  this  time  the  Prussian  royal  guard 
had  defeated  General  Gablentz  and  taken  6,000  prisoners. 
At  this  stage  of  hostilities  the  whole  Prussian  army  of 
250,000  men  stood  waiting  near  Koeniggratz. 

King  "William  and  his  Chief  of  Staflf  Von  Moltke,  whose 
matchless  genius  had  planned  the  whole  campaign,  his 
prime  minister  Von  Bismarck,  whose  statesmanship  had 
brought  Prussia  to  a  condition  where  she  could  manfully 




sastain  herself  while  passing  through  a  military  ordeal  of 
such  magnitude,  and  his  efficient  and  cautious  War  Minis- 
ter, Von  Boon,  all  were  still  in  Berlin.  On  the  29th  of 
June,  twelve  days  after  the  armies  were  set  in  motion, 
the  victories  of  Htienerwasser,  Podol,  and  Nachod  in 
Bohemia,  and  of  Langensalza  in  Hanover,  had  reached 
the  Prussian  capital.  And  behold  the  sudden  change  in 
public  sentiment  which,  until  now,  had  been  more  or  less 
sullen.  The  joyful  tidings  threw  the  people  into  a  state 
of  the  wildest  enthusiasm  for  the  vfery  men  they  had  been 
cursing  and  traducing  but  a  few  hours  before.  The 
stores  of  the  city  were  forthwith  gaily  decorated,  and  an 
address  of  congratulation,  containing  20,000  signatures, 
was  presented  to  the  King  the  evening  of  the  same  day. 
Not  satisfied  with  this,  the  enthusiastic  populace  were 
determined  to  see  the  King,  and  express  to  him  in  person 
their  feelings  of  admiration  and  gratefulness,  proceeding 
in  immense  throngs  to  the  palace,  where,  in  front  of  the 
historic  corner-window,  from  a  hundred  thousand  throats, 
arose  Luther's  soul-stirring  anthem,  "A  powerful  fortress 
is  our  God."  When,  in  response  to  their  enthusiastic 
calls,  the  aged  King  appeared  and  acknowledged  their 
greetings  in  a  few  words  of  thanks  for  their  friendly 
eicpressions,  adding,  "  I  shall  carry  these  sentiments  with 
me  to  the  Army,"  the  immense  throng  burst  forth  in  a 
storm  of  cheers  and  applause.  But  there  were  other 
amends  to  be  made ;  they  had  maligned  King  William's 
minister;  had  called  Bismarck  names,  and  had  even 
suspected  him  of  disloyalty  to  Prussia.  The  cry  soon 
rang  out,  "Away  to  Bismarck !  to  Bismarck !  let  us  away  to 
Bismarck  1 "  and  the  stream  of  human  beings,  singing  and 
shouting,  rolled  on  towards  Bismarck's  residence. 


The  joyous  multitude,  upon  reaching  the  street  in 
front  of  the  Premier's  house,  as  it  caught  a  glimpse  of  his 
massive  form  at  the  open  window,  rent  the  air  with 
shouts  and  cheers  of  commendation.  This  must  have 
been  a  moment  of  superlative  satisfaction  to  the  self- 
dependent  statesman. 

Clouds  had  been  gathering  overhead,  and  while  the 
people  stood  shouting  and  cheering,  a  sudden  flash  of 
lightning  followed  by  a  tremendous  clap  of  thunder 
startled  the  throng.  The  vivid  flash,  for  a  moment,  illumi- 
nated the  impassable  face  of  the  man  of  "blood  and 
iron  " ;  raising  his  arm  he  pointed  upward,  and  in  a  voice 
equaling  the  roar  of  God's  artillery,  exclaimed :  "  Behold  1 
the  heavens  are  joining  in  our  triumphs  of  victory.  God 
sa/ve  tlie  Fatherland  !  " 

The  cry  of  exultation  that  followed  these  few  words 
was  deafening.  It  rolled  from  street  to  street,  from  man 
to  man,  until  Berlin  became  as  one  inspiring,  unanimous, 
vehement  voice  in  praise  of  the  sturdy,  patriotic  hero  of 
the  hour.  On  the  same  evening,  near  midnight.  King 
William,  Bismarck,  Moltke  and  Von  Roon  hurried  from 
the  capital  to  the  front,  where  the  'King  was  to  take 
supreme  command  over  the  Prussian  army. 

Within  the  few  davs  in  which  the  several  battles  had 
been  fought,  the  Austrian  commander  had  suffered  a  loss 
of  35,000  men,  and  of  the  seven  corps  composing  his  army, 
five  had  been  thoroughly  beaten.  The  army  was  demoral- 
ized, and  apprehensive  of  the  result  General  Benedek  tele- 
graphed to  the  Emperor  of  Austria  as  follows :  "  Sir,  you 
must  make  peace.'*  But  his  master  was  not  ready  for 
peace;  there  was  too  much  at  stake  for  him  and  his  dyn- 
asty, and,  on  the  2d  of  July,  King  William  established 


hi&  headquarters  at  Gitchin.  He  was  most  enhusiastio- 
ally  received  by  the  army,  and  his  presence,  as  well  as  that 
of  his  distinguished  staff,  increased  the  confidence  and 
ardor  of  the  troops.  In  a  letter  to  the  Queen,  at  Berlin, 
the  King  thus  described  this  hearty  greeting:  "The 
rejoicing  which  broke  out  here  when  the  guards  first  saw 
me,  can  not  be  described.  The  officers  caught  my  hands 
and  kissed  them,  which  now  and  then  I  was  obliged  to 
permit,  and  so  it  continued  from  one  body  of  troops  to 
another;  everywhere,  cheers  upon  cheers." 

During  the  night  from  tlie  2d  to  the  8d,  a  dispatch 
was  received  at  headquarters  from  Prince  Frederick  Karl, 
in  which  permission  was  asked  to  attack  General  Benedek 
in  the  morning.  A  slight  apprehension  was  felt  on  account 
of  the  possible  detention  of  the  Crown  Prince's  command, 
stationed  several  miles  from  the  proposed  field  of  battle; 
however,  the  general  attack  was  resolved  upon.  Early  on 
the  morning  of  the  3d,  the  Prussian  cavalry  and  horse 
artillery  were  seen  moving  forward,  as  if  to  feel  the  ene- 
my's position,  when  they  were  fired  upon  from  an  Austrian 
battery  situated  near  Sadowa.  The  main  army  of  Prus- 
sia was  now  drawn  up  in  battle  array.  General  Herwarth 
von  Bittenfeld  was  in  command  of  the  right  wing,  and 
the  center  near  Sadowa  was  held  by  Prince  Frederick 
Charles.  King  William,  with  Bismarck,  Moltke,  and  Von 
Boon  at  his  side,  sat  upon  his  charger,  overlooking  the  field. 

This  memorable  battle,  which  determined  the  future 
well-being  of  Germany,  has  been  often  glowingly  described 
by  many  German  writers.  But  in  order  to  avoid  even  the 
shadow  of  German  bias,  the  author  prefers  to  use  the 
account  of  a  disinterested  witness,  published  in  the  London 
Times  a  few  days  after  the  battle: 

384  KING  WILUAK  I. 

"It  was  ten  o'clock  when  Prince  Frederick  Charles  sent 
General  Stuhnapl  to  order  the  attack  on  Sadovra,  Dohilnitz, 
and  Mokrowens.  The  columns  advanced,  covered  by 
skirmishers,  and  reached  the  river  bank  without  much 
loss ;  but  from  there  they  had  to  fight  every  inch  of  their 
way.  The  Austrian  infantry  held  the  bridges  and  villages 
in  force,  and  fired  fast  upon  them  as  they  approached.  The 
Prussians  could  advance  but  slowly  along  the  narrow  ways 
and  against  the  defenses  of  the  houses,  and  the  volleys 
sweeping  through  the  ranks  seemed  to  tear  the  soldiers 
down.  The  Prussians  fired  much  more  quickly  than  theu' 
opponents,  but  they  could  not  see  to  take  their  aim;  the 
houses,  trees  and  smoke  from  the  Austrian  discharges, 
shrouded  the  villages.  Sheltered  by  this,  the  Austrian 
Jagers  fired  blindly  when  they  could  tell,  by  hearing  where 
the  attacking  columns  were,  and  the  shots  told  tremen- 
dously on  the  Prussians  in  their  close  formations;  but  the 
latter  improved  their  positions,  although  slowly,  and  by 
dint  of  sheer  courage  and  perseverance,  for  they  lost  men 
at  every  yard  of  their  advance,  and  in  some  places  almost 
paved  the  way  with  wounded.  Then,  to  help  the  infantry, 
the  Prussian  artillery  turned  its  fire,  regardless  of  the 
enemy's  batteries,  on  the  villages,  and  made  tremendous 
havoc  amongst  the  houses.  Mokrowens  and  Dohilnitz 
both  caught  fire,  and  the  shells  fell  quickly  and  with  fear- 
ful eflfect  among  the  defenders  of  the  flaming  hamlets; 
the  Austrian  ^ns  also  played  upon  the  attacking  infantry, 
but  at  this  time  these  were  sheltered  from  their  fire  by  the 
houses  and  trees  between. 

'"  In  and  around  the  villages  the  fighting  continued  for 
nearly  an  hour;  then  the  Austrian  infantry  who  had  been 
there,  driven  out  by  a  rush  of  the  Prussians,  retired,  but 



only  a  little  way  up  the  slope  into  a  line  with  their  bat- 
teries. The  wood  above  Sadowa  was  strongly  held,  and 
that  between  Sadowa  and  Benatek,  teeming  with  rifle- 
men, stood  to  bar  the  way  of  the  Seventh  Division.  But 
General  Franksy,  who  commanded  this  division,  was  not 
to  be  easily  stopped,  and  he  sent  his  infantry  at  the  wood, 
and  turned  his  artillery  on  the  Austrian  batteries.  The 
Seventh  Division  began  firing  into  the  trees,  but  found 
that  they  could  not  make  any  impression,  for  the  defenders 
were  concealed,  and  musketry  fire  was  useless  against 
them.  Then  Franksy  let  them  go,  and  they  dashed  in 
with  the  bayonet.  The  Austrians  would  not  retire,  but 
waited  for  the  struggle ;  and  in  the  wood  above  Benatek 
was  fought  out  one  of  the  fiercest  combats  which  the  war 
has  seen.  The  27th  Prussian  went  in  nearly  3,000  strong, 
with  90  officers,  and  came  out  on  the  farther  side  with 
only  two  officers  and  between  300  and  400  men  standing ; 
all  the  rest  were  killed  or  wounded.  The  other  regiments 
of  the  division  also  suffered  much,  but  not  in  the  same 
proportion ;  but  the  wood  was  carried.  The  Austrian  line 
was  now  driven  in  on  both  flanks,  but  its  commander 
formed  a  new  line  of  battle  a  little  higher  up  the  hill,  round 
Lipa,  still  holding  the  wood  which  lies  above  Sadowa. 

"Meanwhile,  General  Bittenfeld  was  fighting  a  des- 
perate battle  with  the  Saxon  troops  at  Nechanitz,  a  vil- 
lage seven  miles  from  Sadowa.  Courageously  did  the 
Saxons  meet  the  foe,  but  they  were  slowly  driven  back- 
ward upon  the  main  body  of  the  Austrian  army.  The 
Prussians  now  endeavored  to  carry  the  wood  above  Sad- 
owa and  Dolhilnitz,  a  very  important  strategical  point, 
but  the  Austrian  batteries  played  upon  them  with  mur- 
derous effect.    The  whole  battle  line  of  the  Prussians 

388  KIKa  WtLLIAH  t. 

could  gain  no  more  ground,  and  was  obliged  to  fight  hard 
to  retain  the  position  it  had  won.  At  one  time  it  seemed 
as  if  it  would  be  lost,  for  guns  had  been  dismounted  by  tlie 
Austrian  fire,  and  in  the  wooded  ground  the  needle-gun 
had  no  fair  field,  and  the  infantry  fight  was  very  equal. 
Bittenfeld,  too,  seemed  checked  upon  the  right.  The 
smoke  of  his  musketry  and  artillery,  which  had  hitherto 
been  pushing  forward  steadily,  stood  still  for  a  time. 
Franksy's  men,  cut  to  pieces,  could  not  be  sent  forward 
to  attack  the  Sadowa  wood,  for  they  would  have  exposed 
themselves  to  be  taken  in  rear  by  the  artillery  on  the  right 
of  the  Austrian  line  formed  in  front  of  Lipa.  All  the 
artillery  was  engaged  except  eight  batteries,  and  these 
had  to  be  retained  in  case  of  a  reverse,  for  at  one  time  the 
firing  in  the  Sadowa  wood,  and  of  the  Prussian  artillery  on 
the  slope,  seemed  almost  as  if  drawing  back  toward  Bis- 
tritz.  The  first  army  was  certainly  checked  in  its  ad- 
vance, if  not  actually  being  pushed  back.  It  is  said,  at 
this  point  King  William  showed  great  nervousness  and 

The  chances  of  victory  were  now  exactly  even  for  both 
armies,  and  the  moment  was  critical.  The  Prussian  gen- 
erals were  waiting  uneasily  for  the  Crown  Prince,  and  the 
position  relninded  the  Times  corveaipondent  of  the  closing 
of  the  battle  of  Waterloo,  when  the  Duke  of  Wellington 
so  anxiously  awaited  the  coming  of  Blucher.  But  at  half- 
past  one  in  the  afternoon  the  army  of  the  Crown  Prince 
emerged  into  view,  and  at  once  engaged  the  Austrian 
right.  The  Austrian  failed  to  carry  the  village  of  Klum, 
and  now  found  themselves  exposed  to  a  cross  fire.  What 
followed  is  thus  described :  "Suddenly  a  spattering  of  mus- 
ketry breaks  out  of  the  trees  and  houses  of  Klum,  right 


down  on  the  Austrian  gunners,  and  on  the  cohimns  of  in- 
fantry drawn  up  on  the  slopes  below.  The  gunners  fall 
on  all  sides  —  their  horses  are  disabled  —  the  firing  in- 
creases in  intensity — the  Prussians  press  on  over  the 
plateau :  this  is  an  awful  catastrophe  —  two  columns  of 
Austrians  are  led  against  the  village;  but  they  can  not 
stand  the  fire,  and  after  three  attempts  to  carry  it,  retreat, 
leaving  the  hill-side  covered  with  the  fallen.  It  is  a  ter- 
rible moment.  The  Prussians  see  their  advantage ;  they 
here  enter  into  the  very  center  of  the  position.  In  vain 
the  staff-ofiicers  fly  to  the  reserves,  and  hasten  to  call 
back  some  of  the  artillery  from  the  front.  The  dark  blue 
regiments  multiply  on  all  sides,  and  from  their  edges  roll 
perpetually  sparkling  musketry.  Their  guns  hurry  up, 
and  from  the  slope  take  both  the  Austrians  on  the  extreme 
right  and  the  reserves  in  flank.  They  spread  away  to  the 
woods  near  the  Prague  road,  and  fire  into  the  rear  of  the 
Austrian  gunners. 

"  The  lines  of  dark  blue  which  came  in  sight  from  the 
right  teemed  from  the  vales  below  as  if  the  earth  yielded 
them.  They  filled  the  whole  background  of  the  awful 
picture,  of  which  Elum  was  the  center.  They  pressed 
down  on  the  left  of  the  Prague  road.  In  square,  in 
column,  deployed,  or  wheeling  hither  and  thither — every- 
where pouring  in  showers  of  deadly  precision — penetrat- 
ing the  whole  line  of  the  Austrians — still  they  could  not 
force  their  stubborn  enemy  to  fly.  On  ail  sides  they  met 
brave  but  unfortunate  men  ready  to  die  if  they  could  do 
no  more.  At  the  side  of  the  Prague  road  the  fight  went 
on  with  incredible  vehemence.  The  Austrians  had  still 
an  immense  force  of  artillery;  and  although  its  concen- 
trated fire  swept  the  ground  before  it,  its  effect  was  lost 


in  degree  by  reason  of  the  rising  ground  above,  and  at 
last  by  its  divergence  to  so  many  points  to  answer  the 
enemy's  cannon.  Chesta  and  Visa  were  now  burning,  so 
til  at  from  right  to  left  the  flames  of  ten  villages,  and  the 
flashes  of  guns  and  musketry,  contended  with  the  sun, 
that  pierced  the  clouds  for  the  honor  of  illuminating  the 
seas  of  steel  and  the  fields  of  carnage.  It  was  three 
o'clock.  The  efforts  of  the  Austrians  to  occupy  Klum 
and  free  their  center  had  failed ;  their  right  was  driven 
down  in  a  helpless  mass  towards  Koniggratz,  quivering  and 
palpitating  as  shot  and  shell  tore  through  it.  ^AUes  iat 
verloTenP  Artillery  still  thundered  with  a  force  and 
violence  which  might  have  led  a  stranger  to  such  scenes 
to  think  no  enemy  could  withstand  it.  The  Austrian 
cavalry  still  hung  like  white  thunder-clouds  on  the  flanks, 
and  threatened  the  front  of  the  Prussians,  keeping  them 
in  square  and  solid  columns.  But  alreadv  the  trains  were 
steaming  away  from  Koniggratz,  placing  the  Elbe  and 
Adler  between  them  and  the  enemy." 

Thus  was  the  battle  of  Sadowa,  or,  as  it  was  called  by 
King  William  "  The  battle  of  Konigsgratz,"  won  by  the 
Prussian  army.  It  was  probably  the  shortest  and  most 
decisive  battle,  where  half  a  million  men  confronted  each 
other  in  deadly  array,  which  was  ever  fought.  The  Prus- 
sian loss  was  9,000  men,  that  of  the  Austrians  and  Saxons 
24,000  killed  and  wounded,  besides  the  20,000  prisoners, 
the  loss  of  161  guns,  5  colors,  and  an  immense  amount  of 
war  material  and  army  stores.  During  the  whole  cam- 
paign Austria  had  lost  40,000  prisoners,  200  pieces  of 
artillery,  and  11  stand  of  colors.  More,  the  army  was 
in  a  state  of  complete  dissolution,  and  General  Benedek 
experienced  great  difficulty  in  bringing  its  shattered  rem- 

THE   AtrSTRO-PRUS8IA.N   WAR.  393 

nants  into  the  fortress  of  Olmutz  for  reorganization.  Many 
interesting  reminiscenses  of  this  great  conflict  are  told 
concerning  the  individual  part  taken  by  King  William. 
In  a  letter  to  his  wife  the  day  after  the  battle,  Bismarck 
said  :  "  On  the  3d  the  King  exposed  himself  to  danger  all 
day,  and  it  was  very  fortunate  that  I  was  with  him,  for  he 
would  not  listen  to  advice  from  anybody  else.  No  one 
would  have  dared  to  speak  to  him  as  I  did  on  one  occasion, 
when  the  bodies  of  ten  troopers  and  fifteen  horses  of  the 
Sixth  Regiment  of  Cuirassiers  lay  bathed  in  blood  close  by, 
and  the  shells  were  bursting  in  close  proximity  to  the 
King.  He  was  very  enthusiastic  about  his  troops,  and 
rightly  so,  and  did  not  appear  to  notice  the  shells  that 
were  whizzing  and  bursting  about  him." 

In  another  letter  Bismarck  said : 

"  The  attention  of  the  King  was  wholly  fixed  on  the 
progress  of  the  battle.  To  my  repeated  request  that  his 
Majesty  might  not  so  carelessly  expose  himself  to  the 
murderous  fire,  he  only  answered :  "  The  Commander-in 
Chief  must  be  where  he  ought  to  be."  Later  on,  at  the 
village  of  Lipa,  when  the  King  in  person  had  ordered  the 
cavalry  to  advance,  and  the  shells  were  again  falling  round 
him,  I  ventured  to  renew  my  request,  saying,  '*  If  your 
Majesty  will  take  no  care  of  your  own  person,  have  pity 
at  least  on  your  (poor)  Minister-President,  from  whom 
your  faithful  Prussian  people  will  again  demand  their 
King ;  and  in  the  name  of  that  people  I  entreat  you  to 
leave  this  dangerous  spot."  Then  the  King  gave  me  his 
hand,  with  a  "  Well,  then,  Bismarck,  let  us  ride  on  a  little." 
So  saying,  his  Majesty  wheeled  his  black  mare,  and  put 
her  into  as  easy  a  canter  as  if  he  had  been  riding  down 
the  Linden  to  the  Tliiergarten,    But  for  all  that  I  felt 

394  KING  WILLIAM   I. 

very  uneasy  about  him ;  and  so,  edging  up  with  my  dark 
chestnut  to  the  King's  horse,  I  gave  her  a  good  kick  from 
behind  with  the  toe  of  my  boot ;  she  made  a  bound  for- 
ward, and  the  King  looked  around  in  astonishment. 
With  a  glance  which  convinced  me  that  he  knew  of  my 
action,  but  without  another  word  he  rode  out  of  the 
range  of  the  shells." 

King  William,  fully  appreciating  the  fact  that  but  for 
the  timelv  arrival  of  Crown  Prince  Frederick  William 
and  his  army  upon  the  field  at  Klum,  the  day  would  have 
been  lost,  and  upon  the  impulse  of  the  moment,  sent  his 
son,  by  a  special  courier,  the  Order  ^^Pour  le  Merited'*  but 
the  Prince  was  not  to  be  found.  Late  in  the  evening, 
and  by  mere  accident,  they  met  on  the  field,  and,  recog- 
nizing each  other,  fell  into  each  other's  arms. 

Thereupon  the  King  took  the  Order  ^^Pour  le  Merit^^ 
from  his  breast,  and  hung  it  about  his  son's  neck. 

The  imperturbable  coolness  of  General  Moltke  under 
fire  is  well  illustrated  by  a  writer  in  the  Deutsche  Re- 
view for  October,  1884,  in  which  he  relates  the  following 
interesting  episode  at  Sadowa : 

"At  a  critical  point  in  the  battle  Bismarck  met  Moltke, 
and  offered  him  a  cigar.  The  strategist  carefully  selected 
the  best  weed  in  the  Chancellor's  case,  and  the  latter  took 
comfort,  thinking  to  himself  that  if  the  General  was  still 
calm  enough  to  'make  a  choice  of  the  best  cigar  in  the 
whole  lot,  things  could  not  be  going  so  very  bad  with  them 
after  all." 

The  unexpected  victory  of  the  Prussians  at  Sadowa, 
threw  the  government  at  Vienna  into  a  state  of  dismay 
and  irresolution.  In  his  sore  distress  and  in  the  hope  of 
securing  Napoleon  III.  for  an  ally,  the  Emperor,  who  but 


a  short  month  before  had  solemnly  declared  to  the  world, 
that  all  his  hopes  and  aims  were  in  the  direction  of  a 
United  Germany,  was  now  found  oflfering  to  cede  to  the 
implacable  foe  of  Germany  the  Italian  city  and  province 
of  Venice ;  to  be  held,  to  be  sure,  in  trust  for  Italy.  By 
this  expectation,  however,  King  Victor  Emanuel  was  not 
dissuaded  from  carrying  out  his  obligations  as  Prussia's 
ally,  and  Napoleon  III.  not  deeming  it  prudent  to  oilend 
victorious  Prussia  just  at  that  time,  Austria's  hope  for  a 
repetition  of  the  Maria  Theresa  policy  was  not  realized, 
and  the  Emperor  was  left  to  his  own  resources.  His 
request  for  an  armistice  was  promptly  rejected,  as  were, 
also  the  mediatory  overtures  made  by  the  Emperor  of  the 
French.  Orders  were  issued  for  an  immediate  advance. 
The  army  of  Silesia  was  sent  towards  Olmiitz,  as  a  corps 
of  observation  against  General  Benedek,  while  King  Will- 
iam himself  marched  his  army  through  Brunn  toward 
Nickelburg,  where,  on  the  17th  of  July,  he  established  his 
headquarters.  During  these  movements  the  ad  vance-guard 
of  his  army  had  already  reached  so  short  a  distance  from 
Vienna  that  its  camp-fires  could  be  discerned  at  night  by 
the  astonished  inhabitants. 

A  few  days  after  the  battle  of  Sadowa,  and  after  his 
humble  demand  for  an  armistice  had  been  refected,  Em- 
peror Francis  Joseph,  in  a  manifesto  to  his  "  faithful  peo- 
ple of  the  Kingdom  of  Hungary," — which  composed  the 
principal  fighting  population  of  Austria, — cooly  informed 
them  that  "To  put  an  end  to  the  unequal  contest — to 
gain  time  and  opportunity  to  fill  up  the  voids  occasioned 
by  the  campaign — and  to  concentrate  his  forces  against 
the  hostile  troops  occupying  the  northern  portion  of  his 
Empire,  he  had  consented,  with  great  sacrifices,  to  nego- 
tiations for  the  conclusion  of  an  armistice." 

396  KING    WILLIAM   I. 

He  then  made  the  following  piteous  appeal  for  help 
from  the  Hungarians,  his  subdued  subjects,  who,  but  a 
few  years  before,  had  seen  their  best  and  most  patriotic 
sons  perish  on  the  gallows  or  die  traitors'  deaths  at  the 
hands  of  Austrian  executioners : 

"  I  now  turn  confidently  to  the  faithful  peoples  of  my 
Kingdom  of  Hungary,  and  to  that  readiness  to  make 
sacrifices  so  repeatedly  displayed  in  arduous  times.  The 
united  exertions  of  my  entire  Empire  must  be  set  in  motion, 
that  the  conclusion  of  the  wished-for  peace  may  be  secured 
upon  fair  conditions.  It  is  my  profound  belief,  that  the 
warlike  sons  of  Hungary,  actuated  by  the  feeling  of 
hereditary  fidelity,  will  voluntarily  hasten  under  my 
banners,  to  the  assistance  of  their  kindred,  and  for  the 
protection  of  their  country,  also  immediately  threatened 
by  the  events  of  war.  Eally,  therefore,  in  force  to  the 
defense  o^  the  invaded  Empire !  Be  worthy  sons  of  your 
valiant  forefathers,  whose  heroic  deeds  gained  never-fading 
wreaths  of  laurel  for  the  glory  of  the  Hungarian  name." 

Having  now  lost  all  hope  in  French  intervention,  the 
Emperor  of  Austria  finally  concluded  to  approach  King 
William  with  propositions  of  peace.  Both  the  King  and 
Bismarck  were  determined,  that  while  they  did  not  intend 
to  extend  the  territorial  limits  of  Prussia  at  Austria's 
expense,  they  unreservedly  demanded  that  Power's  exclu- 
sion hereafter  in  the  affairs  of  Germany.  The  prelimi- 
naries for  peace  with  this  understanding  began  at  Nichol- 
son, were  ratified  and  the  agreement  signed  at  Prague, 
August  23,  1866. 

The  chief  stipulations  of  the  treaty  were : 

1.  The  German  Confederation  is  dissolved. 

3.  That  Germany  re-construct  itself  anew,  with  exclu- 


sion  of  Austria,  and  in  the  manner  that  the  German  States 
lying  north  of  the  Main  river  enter  into  a  confederation 
with  Prussia;  while  the  States  lying  south  of  that  line 
shall  form  an  independent  confederation  among  them- 
selves, of  which  the  national  connections  with  the  North 
German  Confederation  is  reserved  for  future  arrangement. 

3.  Austria  shall  waive  all  right  to  Schleswig-Holstein. 

4.  Austria  to  pay  Prussia  twenty  million  thalers  war 
indemnity.  (About  the  same  sum  in  English.)  All  acces- 
sions of  territory  in  North  Germany  by  Prussia  to  be 
sanctioned  by  Austria.  Saxony  to  be  allowed  to  retain 
her  King,  provided  she  joins  the  North  German  Con- 
federation—  a  most  unmerited  »nct  of  generosity,  when  it 
is  considered  that  the  reigning  dynasty  of  this  Kingdom 
seemed  to  have  inherited  a  "  penchant"  for  slavish  subser- 
viency to  foreign  dictation. 

On  the  day  when  this  Treaty  of  Prague  was  signed — 
though  as  yet  he  was  unaware  of  it — Thomas  Carlyle 
wrote  to  a  friend :  "  That  Germany  is  to  stand  on  her 
feet  henceforth,  and  not  be  dismembered  on  the  high- 
way; but  face  all  manner  of  Napoleons,  and  hungry, 
sponging  dogs,  with  clear  steel  in  her  hands  and  an 
honest  purpose  in  her  heart — this  seems  to  me  the  best 
news  we  or  Europe  have  heard  for  the  last  forty  years  or 
more.  May  the  heavens  prosper  it !  Many  thanks  also 
for  Bismarck's  photograph  ;  he  has  a  Royal  enough  phys- 
iognomy, and  I  more  and  more  believe  him  to  be  a  highly 
considerable  man;  perhaps  the  nearest  approach  to  a 
Cromwell  that  is  possible  in  these  poor  times." 

Although  King  William  had  ample  justification,  it  was 
not  his  desire  to  humiliate  Austria  by  an  aggrandizement 
of  Prussian  territory   at  her   expense.    He  had  placed 

398  KINO   WILLIAM   I. 

her  where  she  could  do  no  more  harm  to  Germanv,  and 
where  she  was  powerless  to  impede  her  political  and  re- 
ligious progress ;  that  accomplishment  had  been  his  sole 
end,  and  he  magnanimously  refused  to  take  advantage  of 
his  position  to  obtain  more.  As  to  Austria's  auxiliaries  of 
the  South  German  States,  Bismarck  had  but  little  diffi- 
culty to  encounter  in  the  way  of  an  amicable  understand- 
ing with  them.  General  Von  Falkenstein,  who  had  been 
left  in  the  South  German  States,  did  not  deem  it  wise  to 
shed  more  blood  of  his  misguided  countrymen  than  was 
absolutely  necessary,  having  been  called  to  Bohemia  to 
assume  administrative  duties,  relinquished  his  command  to 
General  Manteuff  el,  who  entered  into  an  armistice  with  the 
princes,  thus  closing  the  unbloody  chapter  of  this  Austro- 
Prussian  war. 

On  the  13th,  17th  and  22d  of  August,  a  compact  was 
entered  into  between  Prussia,  representing  the  North- 
German  Bund,  and  Wttrtemburg,  Baden  and  Bavaria,  on 
the  other,  by  which  it  was  agreed,  that  in  case  of  war 
they  should  stand  by  each  other,  and  that  in  such  an  event 
all  troops  should  be  placed  under  the  command  of  Prus- 
sia. On  the  3d  of  September  Hesse-Darmstadt,  and  on 
October  2 1st  Saxony  followed  suit.  The  great  ground- 
work for  the  definite  unification  of  Get^many  had  now 
been  safely  laid,  consequently  the  idea  for  which  King 
William  had  been  laboring,  and  for  which  he  had  risked 
his  popularity  and  his  throne,  had  been  realized.  The 
only  feature  in  this  final  settlement,  which  has  caused  many 
regrets  and  heart-burnings,  was  the  necessary  abandon- 
ment to  Austria  of  its  German  population,  which  had 
always  been  loval  to  the  German  cause.  The  brave 
mountaineers,  as  well  as  many  German  citizens  of  Vienna, 
were  in  hearty  sympathy  with  the  German  cause* 


"With  laurel-entwined  banners,  King  William,  Bismarck, 
Moltke  and  their  trusted  regiments  made  this  triumphal 
entry  into  the  Prussian  capital,  amid  the  shouts  of  a 
grateful  and  enthusiastic  people. 

The  gallant  and  soldierly  King  rode  first  on  horseback, 
and  was  accompanied  by  Count  Bismarck  and  Generals 
Moltke,  Roon,  and  others.  Says  a  correspondent  of  an 
English  newspaper,  describing  the  scene  immediately  be- 
fore the  brilliant  cavalcade  passed  down  the  Linden: 
"  For  my  part  I  could  spare  but  little  attention  for  the 
King  himself.  A  few  yards  farther  on  there  stood  a 
group  of  horsemen.  One  was  General  Von  Roon,  the 
Minister  of  War,  another  was  (Jeneral  Moltke,  the  soldier 
to  whom,  more  than  any  single  person,  the  conduct  and 
conception  of  the  campaign  are  due.  On  the  extreme 
right,  in  the  white  uniform  of  a  Major-General  of  Land- 
wehr  Cuirassiers,  a  broad-shouldered,  short-necked  man 
sat  mounted  on  a  brown  bay  mare.  Very  still  and  silent 
the  rider  sits,  waiting  patiently  until  the  interview  be- 
tween the  King  and  the  civic  authorities  is  concluded. 
The  skin  of  his  face  is  parchment-colored,  with  dull 
leaden-hued  blotches  about  the  cheeks;  the  eyes  are 
bloodless;  the  veins  about  the  forehead  are  swollen;  the 
great  heavy  helmet  presses  upon  the  wrinkled  brows ;  the 
man  looks  as  if  he  had  risen  from  a  sick-bed  which  he 
ought  never  to  have  left.  That  is  Count  Bismarck- 
Schonhausen,  Prime  Minister  of  Prussia.  Yesterday  he 
was  said  to  be  well  nigh  dying ;  ugly  rumors  floated 
about  the  town ;  his  doctors  declared  that  rest,  absolute 
rest,  was  the  only  remedy  upon  which  they  could  base 
their  hopes  of  his  recovery.  But  to-day  it  was  important 
that  the  Premier  should  show  himself.    The  iron  will. 

400  KINO  WILLIAM   I. 

which  had  never  swerved  before  any  obstacle,  was  not  to 
be  dauated  by  physical  pain  or  to  be  swayed  by  medical 
remonstrances.  And  so,  to  the  astonishment  of  all  those 
who  knew  how  critical  his  state  of  health  had  been  but  a 
few  hours  before,  Count  Bismarck  put  on  his  uniform  and 
rode  out  to-day  to  take  his  place  in  the  royal  cortege. 
Even  now  the  man,  who  has  made  a  united  Germany  a 
possibility,  and  has  raised  Prussia  from  the  position  of  a 
second-rate  Power  to  the  highest  rank  among  Continental 
empires,  is  but  scantily  honored  in  his  own  country ;  and 
the  cheers  with  which  he  was  gi'eeted  were  tame  com- 
pared with  those  which  welcomed  the  generals  who  had 
been  the  instruments  of  the  work  his  brain  had  planned. 
But  to  those,  I  think,  who  looked  at  all  beyond  the 
excitement  of  the  day  —  the  true  hero  of  that  brilliant 
gathering  was  neither  King  nor  Prince  of  the  blood- 
royal —  general  nor  soldier,  but  the  sallow,  livid-looking 
statesman,  who  was  there  in  spite  of  racking  pain  and 
doctora'  advice  and  the  commonest  caution,  in  order  that 
his  work  might  be  completed  to  the  end." 

By  way  oi  marking  the  day  with  a  white  stone,  an 
amnesty  was  proclaimed  for  all  persons  who  had  been 
convicted  of  high  treason  or  other  offenses  against  the 
Crown,  resistance  to  the  State  authorities,  violation  of 
public  order,  offenses  committed  by  the  press  in  infringe- 
ment of  the  Press  Law  of  1851,  and  for  infractions  of  the 
ordinance  of  the  11th  of  March,  1851,  regulating  the  right 
of  public  meetings. 

With  a  feeling  of  self-satisfaction  and  excusable  pride 
the  King  opened  the  sessions  of  the  Prussian  House  of 
Kepresentatives  in  person.  In  his  sj^eech  from  the  throne, 
which  he  read  in  a  dignified  manner  and  calm  tone  of 


voice,  he  referred  to  the  recent  success  achieved  by  the 
Government,  which  had  been  gained  in  spite  of  the  Cham- 
ber, and  now  asked  the  representatives  to  ratify  the  bill 
of  expenditures.  This  request  was  acceded  to  by  a  vote 
of  230  against  75. 

From  this  time  on  political  aflFairs  moved  along  more 
smoothly,  and  a  commonness  of  interest  throughout  Ger- 
many infused  new  life  into  every  branch  of  industry  and 
trade.  Within  a  year  the  representatives  of  the  annexed 
States  were  admitted  to  seats  in  the  Prussian  House  of 
Eepresen  tat  i  ves. 

On  the  24th  of  February,  1867,  the  Parliament  of  the 
newly-formed  Korth-German  Confederation  opened  its  first 
session,  and  on  the  17th  of  April  following  its  Constitution 
was  proclaimed.  This  fundamental  law  guaranteed  to  the 
people  of  all  the  States  north  of  the  Main  line,  equal 
citizenship,  equality  of  commercial  laws,  of  jurisprudence, 
of  weights  arid  measures,  of  money  and  equal  telegraph 
and  postal  accommodations.  Each  State  was  left  to  man- 
age its  own  local  affairs  according  to  the  taste  and  con- 
venience of  its  people. 

In  closing  the  session  of  this  memorable  Parliament, 
King  William  pointedly  and  truthfully  said:  "As  the 
direction  of  the  German  mind  generally  is  turned  toward 
peace  and  her  labors,  the  Confederate  Association  of  the 
German  States  will  mainly  assume  a  defensive  character. 
The  German  movement  of  recent  years  has  borne  no 
hostile  tendency  toward  our  neighbors,  no  striving  after 
conquest,  but  has  arisen  solely  from  the  necessity  of 
affording  the  broad  domains,  from  the  Alps  to  the  sea, 
the  essential  conditions  of  political  progress,  which  the 
march  of  development  in  former  centuries  has  impeded. 


The  German  races  unite  only  for  defense,  not  for  attack; 
and  that  their  brotherhood  is  also  regarded  in  this  light 
by  neighboring  nations  is  proved  by  the  friendly  attitude 
of  the  mightiest  European  States,  which  see  Germany, 
without  apprehension  and  envy,  take  possession  of  those 
same  advantages  of  a  great  political  commonwealth  which 
they  themselves  have  already  enjoyed  for  centuries. 

"It  therefore  now  only  depends  upon  us,  upon  our 
unity  and  our  patriotism,  to  secure  to  the  whole  of  Ger- 
many the  guarantees  of  a  future  in  which,  free  from  the 
danger  of  again  falling  into  dissension  and  weakness,  she 
will  be  able  to  further,  by  her  own  decision,  her  Constitu- 
tional development  and  prosperity,  and  to  fulfill  her 
peace-loving  mission  in  the  Council  of  Nations.  I  trust 
in  God  that  posterity,  looking  back  upon  our  common 
labors,  will  not  say  that  the  experience  of  former  unsuc- 
cessful attempts  has  been  useless  to  the  German  people ; 
but  that,  on  the  other  hand,  our  children  will  thankfully 
regard  this  Parliament  as  the  commencement  of  the 
unity,  freedom  and  power  of  the  Germans. 

"  Gentlemen,  all  Germany,  even  beyond  the  limits  of 
our  Confederation,  anxiously  awaits  the  decisions  that 
may  be  arrived  at  here.  May  the  dream  of  centuries,  the 
yearning  and  striving  of  the  latest  generations,  be  realized 
by  our  common  labors  I  In  the  name  of  all  the  allied 
Governments — in  the  name  of  Germany — I  confidently 
call  upon  you  to  help  us  to  carry  out  rapidly  and  safely 
the  great  national  task.  And  may  the  blessing  of  God, 
upon  which  everything  depends,  accompany  and  promote 
the  patriotic  work  1 " 

These  lofty  sentiments  found  lodgment  in  every 
German  hearty  and,  indeed,  the  benefit  of  the  newly- 

tfi£  AU8TBO-P&US8IAN  WA&.  405 

formed  union  to  the  people  was  becoming  daily  more 
apparent.  Of  this  period  of  contentment  and  prosperity, 
says  a  recent  writer: 

"  The  benefits  which  their  new  union  was  to  confer  on 
the  German  States  were  not  long  in  showing  themselves 
in  every  department  of  legislative  administration  and 
trade,  and  attracted  the  recognition  of  foreign  nations. 
The  people  of  the  districts  annexed  to  Prussia  in  1866 
were  so  wisely  governed,  that  most  of  them  soon  became 
not  mere  subjects,  but  patriotic  citizens  of  that  Kingdom. 
The  States  which  had  taken  up  arms  against  Prussia  rapidly 
forgot  their  enmity;  and  the  whole  German  people  soon 
began  to  regret  that  the  Main  line  had  been  suffered  to 
limit  the  new  union  on  the  South.  The  Southern  States, 
however,  had  been  more  closely  bound  to  the  Northern  by 
their  treaties  of  offensive  and  defensive  alliances;  and 
still  more  so  by  the  ZoUverein,  which  was  now  more 
firmly  established  under  the  administration  of  a  Customs- 
Parliament  of  all  the  States.  There  still  continued  to  be 
a  party  of  "  Particularists  "  in  Southern  Germany,  whose 
local  prejudices  and  aims  opposed  the  national  policy  of 
union  ;  but  its  strength  depended  upon  merely  temporary 
interests,  and  it  was  not  important  enough  to  resist  the 
overwhelming  popular  sentiment.  In  Prussia,  and  with- 
in the  new  Confederation,  the  bitterness  of  hostility 
formerly  shown  to  the  Government,  now  disappeared. 
Austria  at  first  showed  a  disposition  to  continue  its  policy 
of  resistance  to  Prussian  ascendency  in  Germany,  and 
Beust,  the  late  Premier  of  Saxony  and  long  the  foe  of 
Austria,  was  made  Chancellor  of  the  Empire ;  but  the 
Government  gradually  become  more  and  more  concilia- 



IT  IS  known  that  previous  to  the  war  with  Austria,  and 
while  this  power  was  coquetting  with  Emperor 
Napoleon,  Mr.  Beneditti,  the  French  ambassador  at  Berlin, 
had  been  instructed  to  demand  from  the  Prussian  govern- 
ment the  cession  of  the  German  provinces  along  the  left 
bank  of  the  Rhine,  in  consideration  of  France's  neutrality 
in  the  coming  struggle  with  Austria,  and  to  threaten 
Prussia  with  war  in  case  of  refusal.  "  Then  let  there  be 
war,"  promptly  replied  Bismarck.  Beneditti  evidently  not 
being  prepared  for  such  a  manly  reply,  quietly  dropped  the 
subject  for  the  time  being.  Furthermore,  Napoleon  III. 
was  not  prepared  for  war  just  then.  The  French  army  had 
not  received  its  complement  of  the  new  Chassepot  mus- 
kets yet,  the  efficiency  of  which  was  to  excel  the  Prussian 
needle-gun  in  rapidity  and  precision.  He  also  fondly 
hoped  that  Prussia  would  emerge  from  a  war  with  Aus- 
tria in  a  damaged  condition,  and  consequently  be  unable 
to  refuse  a  demand  for  the  Rhine  frontiers  when  again 

Having  been  disappointed  in  this  expectation,  the 
French  turned  upon  Napoleon,  charging  him  with  weak- 
ness and  indecision  in  not  preventing  the  unification  of 
Germany,  when  the  Austro-Prussian  war  had  offered  such 
a  splendid  opportunity.  They,  also,  began  to  clamor  for 
their  share  in  the  new  division  of  Europe,  and  their 
demands  in  that  direction  being  refused  by  Prussia,  they 
began  to  bluster  about  a  war  of  revenge.    In  1867  the 



Luxemburg  question  was  siezed  upon  with  avidity  as  an 
excellent  pretext  for  a  war  with  the  hated  tete  carri  across 
the  Rhine ;  and  the  opening  of  hostilities  was  only  averted 
by  Prussia's  magnanimous  evacuation  of  the  fortress.  In 
1870  a  most  welcome  pretext  for  an  attack  upon  Prussia 
by  France  was  found  in  the  circumstance  that  Prince 
Leopold  of  HohenzoUern  Sigmaringen,  a  distant  relative 
of  Emperor  William,  had  been  offered  the  Spanish  Crown ; 
but  this  pretext  havmg  been  removed  by  the  Prince's 
prompt  refusal  of  the  proffered  honor,  a  war  with  France 
was  again  averted.  The  French  press  grew  furious  at  being 
thus  disappointed,  and  its  columns  were  daily  filled  with  ful- 
minating articles  against  Germany.  On  the  8th  of  July  a 
scurrilous  attack  upon  Prussia  appeared  in  iheMoniteur  — 
the  official  organ  of  the  Government  —  in  which  the 
writer  said :  "  The  time  for  taking  revenge  on  account  of 
the  affront  suffered  at  the  hands  of  Prussia,  has  come  1 " 
The  entire  Parisian  press  soon  followed  suit.  The  influ- 
ential Le  Paya^  for  instance,  boasted  that  in  case  of  a 
refusal  to  the  just  demands  of  France,  the  yoke  was  ready 
for  Prussia,  who  would  not  dare  to  cross  swords  with  the 
victorious  legions  of  France;  and  the  flighty  Emil  de 
Gerardine  flippantly  referred,  in  his  La  Liberie^  to  a  tour 
de  promenade  to  Berlin,  where,  within  a  fortnight,  they 
would  enjoy  a  glass  of  absinthe  "  wUer  den  ZindenJ^  In 
short,  day  after  day,  the  easily  excited  Parisians  were 
supplied  with  the  most  inflammatory  appeals  against  the 
hated  Prussians,  until  the  well-known  French  "Chauven- 
isme"  had  worked  itself  into  such  a  fever  heat  that  it 
could  only  be  cooled  in  the  blood  of  the  Prussian  tete  de 

The  refusal  of  Napoleon  III.  at  this  time  to  gratify  the 

408  KINO   WILLIAM   I. 

French  longing  for  glory  would  have  cost  him  his  impe- 
rial  crown.  This  evidently  was  Duke  de  Graraont's  opin- 
ion when  he  insisted  upon  a  personal  apology  from  King 
William,  while  at  Ems,  in  reference  to  the  HohenzoUern 
occupation  of  the  Spanish  throne.  King  William,  at  this 
impudent  demand,  turned  upon  his  heel  and  left  the 
French  Ambassador  to  his  own  construction  of  the  inter- 
view. Thus  was  reached  the  culminating  point  between 
the  two  peoples.  The  next  day,  the  14th  of  July,  1870, 
Minister  Beneditti  was  recalled  and  a  declaration  of  war 
immediately  made  by  the  French. 

History  affords  no  parallel  to  the  infatuation — border- 
ing upon  stupidity — ^with  which  the  French  entered  into 
this  war,  the  result  of  which,  under  the  most  favorable 
circumstances  was  doubtful.  War  Minister  Leboeuf,  who 
declared  as  to  the  fitness  of  the  French  Army  to  engage 
in  a  war  with  Germany,  was  either  ignorant  himself  of 
the  true  condition  of  Napoleon's  forces,  or  he  had  been 
deceived  by  the  reports  of  his  Department  commanders. 
When,  however,  the  actual  facts  came  to  light  that  the 
real  strength  of  the  armv  had  been  overestimated  and  its 
supply  of  ammunition,  food  and  forage  was  insufficient 
for  an  offensive  campaign,  it  was  too  late  for  Leboeuf  to 
call  a  halt.  Again,  hostile  demonstrations  had  been  so 
open  and  avowedly  in  earnest  as  to  surprise  the  ever-ready, 
watchful  Prussian  General  Moltke.  Napoleon  III.  had 
also  fallen  into  the  egregious  error  of  supposing  that 
the  disaffection  of  the  South  German  States  would 
eventually  redound  to  his  favor.  He  pretended  to  know 
that  Hanover,  Saxony  and  Hesse-Cassel  were  only  watch- 
ing for  a  favorable  opportunity  to  revenge  themselves 
for  the  loss  of  their  sovereigns  and  independence,  and 

.     THS  FftANCO-PRUSSIAN  WAR.  409 

would  join  in  an  attack  against  Prussia  made  by  the 

But  instead  of  a  distracted  and  dissatisfied  country, 
he  was  met  at  the  threshold  by  a  united  Germany — by 
a  people  ready  to  do  and  die  for  the  common  Fatherland. 
Bavaria,  where  the  Ultramontane  party  had  labored  in 
vain  to  stem  the  patriotic  impulse  of  the  people,  promptly 
fell  into  line,  as  did  Wtirtemburg,  where  the  same  treason- 
able influence  had  been  at  work.  But,  not  only  in  Ger- 
many were  the  people  aroused  to  united  action,  and  to  a 
determination,  now  and  forever,  to  emancipate  themselves 
from  foreign  dictation,  but  the  Germans  all  over  tlie  globe 
were  to  a  man  in  sentiment  with  their  countrymen  at 

The  German-Americans,  more  especially,  furnished 
abundant  proof  of  their  devotion  to  their  mother-country, 
and  by  enthusiastic  public  demonstrations,  and  by  liberal 
contributions,  lent  to  the  cause  their  moral  as  well  as 
material  support. 

The  return  of  King  William  from  Ems  to  Berlin  was 
one  continued  ovation,  and  when  the  order  for  the  mobili- 
zation of  the  German  army  came,  it  seemed  as  if  the 
master  hand  of  a  great  clockwork  had  pressed  the  spring 
and  the  colossal  machinery  was  set  in  motion.  With  won- 
derful precision  and  astounding  rapidity  were  the  armed 
masses  collected  at  the  appointed  rendesvous,  and  before 
Emperor  Napoleon,  who  had  prognosticated  and  planned 
a  war  of  invasion,  could  complete  his  preparations,  there 
stood  before  the  gates  of  France  450,000  armed  Germans. 

King  William  left  Berlin  on  the  25th  of  Jul}^  1870,  to 
take  supreme  command  of  the  army  in  the  field,  which 
stood  about  as  follows :    The  Seventh  Corps  from  West- 

410  KINO  WILUAM  I. 

phalia,  and  the  Eighth  from  the  Rhine  province,  were 
situated  on  the  lower  Rhine,  and  were  commanded  by 
General  Steinmetz,  and  formed  the  right  wing  of  the 
Gepman  army.  The  Royal  Guards,  commanded  by 
Prince  August,  of  WUrtemberg;  the  Third  Corps  from 
Brandenburg,  and  tlie  Fourth  from  Saxony,  under  Gen. 
Alvensleben;  the  Ninth  from  Schleswig-Holstein  and 
Hesse,  under  Maiistein;  the  Tenth  from  Hanover,  Bruns- 
wick and  Oldenburg  under  Voigts-Rutz ;  and  the  Twelfth, 
under  Albert,  Crown  Prince  of  Saxony,  stationed  in  the 
Palatinate,  but  ready  to  march  either  south  or  westward, 
formed  the  center,  under  the  general  command  of  Prince 
Frederick  Charles.  The  Fifth  Corps  from  Silesia  and 
Posen,  under  Kirchbach;  the  Eleventh  from  Hesse, 
Nassau  and  Thuringia,  under  Bose;  and  the  First  and 
Second  Bavarian  Corps,  under  Von  der  Tann  ond  Hart- 
mann,  with  divisions  from  Wtlrtemburg  and  Baden,  all 
under  the  chief  command  of  the  Crown  Prince  of  Pinissia, 
formed  the  left.  In  addition  to  this  force  of  450,000  men, 
there  were  four  corps,  or  100,000  men,  stationed  in  the 
interior,  and  pushing  in  forced  marches  toward  the  French 
frontier,  besides  400,000  Landwehr,  which  could  be 
called  upon  in  case  of  need. 

To  this  vast  army  of  nearly  a  million  men,  France  had 
but  300,000  to  oppose  it.  But,  infatuated  to  blindness, 
thej''  still  imagined  that  the  march  upon  Berlin  was  possi- 
ble. Emperor  Napoleon  himself  appeared  to  be  as  eager 
for  the  fray  as  the  rest  of  his  countrymen.  He  began  by 
attacking  a  small  detachment  of  Prussian  troops  at  Saar- 
brlick  on  the  2d  of  August.  He  met  little  resistance  here, 
the  withdrawal  of  the  Prussians  causing  Napoleon  to 
send  to  Paris  the  most  remarkable  bulletins  of  the  vie- 

on       Vronprin]  Kionprinj  von 

prin3  Betnriifr 



tory.  It  was  upon  this  occasion  that  he  penned  to  the 
Empress  Eugenia  the  famous  account  of  her  son's  "  bap- 
tism of  fire." 

But  on  the  ith  of  August  the  work  was  begun  by 
Prussia  in  earnest.  It  was  the  duty  of  the  Prussian  Crown 
Prince,  with  his  troops  from  the  South  German  States, 
to  invade  Alsace,  and  by  passing  through  the  Vosges  turn 
the  right  of  the  French  armies  who  were  between  the  Saar 
and  the  fortress  of  Metz.  Marshal  MacMahon,  with  a  force 
exceeding  40,000  men,  stood  in  his  path;  but  so  swift  and 
decided  was  the  Crown  Prince's  movements  that,  on  the  4th 
of  August,  he  had  advanced  from  Landau  andGermersheim, 
attacked  and  defeated  a  division  of  MacMahon's  corps  at 
"Weissenbourg,  and  on  the  6th  came  up  with  MacMahon's 
main  forces  at  Woerth,  where  the  Bavarians,  Wtirtem- 
burgers  and  Badeners  gave  proof  of  their  devotion  to  the 
common  cause  by  completely  routing  his  army. 

On  the  same  day,  General  Kamecke,  coming  up  with  a 
part  of  the  Seventh  Army  Corps,  attacked  General  Frossard 
who  held  the  steep  height  of  Spichem,  and  after  a  stub- 
born resistance,  drove  him  from  the  field  towards  Forbach. 
Thus,  in  the  short  time  of  two  days,  had  the  Germans  not 
only  frustrated  Napoleon's  plan  of  invadingGerman}'^,  but 
ha(l  driven  him  to  assume  the  defensive  and  compelled  him 
to  abandon  a  large  strip  of  territory.  His  next  mov^  was 
to  concentrate  his  armies  to  the  rear.  In  the  meanwhile 
glowing  telegrams  of  victories  had  been  sent  to  Paris, 
throwing  the  populace  into  a  deliri  um  of  joy.  But  the  true 
state  of  affairs  soon  began  to  be  known,  and  when  the 
news  of  the  terrible  reverses  met  by  the  army  at  last  burst 
upon  them,  it  was  with  great  diflBculty  that  a  revolution 
against  the  Imperial  regime  was  repressed,  even  at  this 
early  stage  of  the  campaign. 

414  KING  WILLIAM   I, 

But  their  cup  of  disappointment  and  bitterness  had 
hardly  received  a  drop  compared  to  the  stream  that  soon 

The  invading  army  now  formed  a  continuous,  unbi*oken 
line.  On  the  14th,  the  first  armj'  under  Steinmetz  had 
advanced  to  the  immediate  vicinity  of  Metz ;  just  in  time 
to  intercept  the  Third  French  Arm}^  Corps  which  covered 
the  rear  of  General  Bazaine's  forces  on  their  march  toward 
Verdun.  The  bloody  battle  at  Courcelles  which  followed, 
terminated  disastrously  for  Bazaine,  and  compelled  him 
to  retreat  under  the  walls  of  Metz.  On  the  16th,  Bazaine 
made  another  effort  to  march  to  Verdun ;  but  as  the 
Prussians  under  General  Alvensleben  had  taken  possession 
of  the  village  of  St.  Hilaire,  on  the  Verdun  road,  and  of 
the  villages  of  Mars  la  Tour  and  Vionville,  his  movements 
were  agjiin  interrupted,  and  the  battles  which  were  fought 
here  were  the  most  sanguinary  of  the  war.  The  situation 
was  held  by  33,000  Germans  against  an  overwhelming  force 
of  150,000  French  troops  for  the  space  of  three  hours, 
when  30,000  men  were  sent  to  their  relief.  At  the  most 
critical  point  of  this  battle.  General  Bredow,  in  charge  of 
the  cavalry  brigade,  composed  of  the  Seventh  Regiment  of 
Cuirassiers  and  the  Sixteenth  Uhlans,  received  an  order 
from  General  Alvensleben,  to  clear  the  edge  of  the  woods 
in  front  of  his  infantry.  The  terrible  scene  which  there- 
upon followed,  forms  the  bloodiest  and  at  the  same  time 
the  most  heroic  episode  of  the  Franco-Prussian  war,  and 
will  stand  in  the  annals  of  modem  warfare  as  the  worthy 
counterpart  of  the  famous  cavalry  charge  at  Balaklava. 
"  On  they  went,"  says  an  English  account  of  the  affair, "  up 
to  the  batteries  in  front  and  took  them ;  then  fell  upon 
columns  of  infantry  and  scattered  them ;  then  attacked  a 

THE   FKANCO-rftUSSIAN   WAJt.  415 

battery  of  mitrailleuse,  when  two  French  cavalry  regi- 
ments of  cuirassiers  were  hurled  upon  them,  and  the 
Germans  in  their  fatigue  had  to  cut  their  way  back  along 
a  pathway  of  blood.  But  half  of  them  returned.  The  loss 
on  both  sides  on  that  day  was  15,000  killed  and  wounded. 

Bazaine  was  now  compelled  to  abandon  his  plan  of 
marching  to  Verdun.  Moving  his  exhausted  troops  to  a 
position  between  Qravelotte  and  Privat-la-Montagne,  he 
decided  to  give  tliem  a  day's  rest  before  attempting  another 
engagement.  But  the  following  day  the  whole  of  the  First 
and  Second  German  armies  had  reached  the  left  bank  of 
the  Moselle,  increasing  their  effective  strength  to  200,000 
men — the  force  which  General  Bazaine  would  have  to  cope 
with.  This  army  was  commanded  by  King  William  in 
person,  with  Prince  Frederick  Charles,  Moltke,  Boon, 
Steinmetz  and  Bismarck  at  his  side.  On  the  afternoon  of 
the  18thj  the  great  battle  of  Gravelotte,  which  was  to  de- 
cide the  fate  of  the  flower  of  the  French  army,  and  con- 
sequently of  the  French  Empire,  began.  The  Germans 
in  pressing  forward  through  the  narrow  defiles  were  lit- 
erally mowed  down  and  lay  in  heaps  on  the  road-sides.  At 
four  o'clock,  however,  the  right  of  the  French  army  had 
been  turned  by  the  Guards  and  the  Saxons,  and  now 
began  the  murderous  assault  upon  St  Privat,  the  key  of 
the  French  situation.  It  was  dark  when  the  village  was 
captured,  and  now  followed  the  rout  of  the  French  army, 
which  fled  in  disorder  towards  Metz. 

This  victory  was  purchased  at  an  enormous  sacrifice  by 
the  Germans.  The  French  had  fought  with  their  old- 
time  valor  —  that  valor  which  at  Austerlitz  and  Jena  had 
given  them  world-wide  fame.  They  had  lost  12,000  men 
in  killed  and  wounded,  but  had  inflicted  a  loss  upon  the 

416  KING   WILLIAM   I. 

Germans  of  20,000,  who  were  compelled  to  attack  them 
in  their  own  chosen  position.  Bazaine  and  his  army  had 
taken  refuge  in  the  fortress  of  Metz,  and  Frederick  Charles 
with  160,000  men,  was  left  to  prevent  his  escape,  while 
the  rest  of  the  army  took  up  their  march  toward  Chalons 
where  it  was  supposed  Emperor  Napoleon  and  MacMahon 
had  concentrated  the  remaining  main  strength  of  the 
French  army.  On  the  25th  the  news  reached  the  King, 
however,  that  MacMahon  had  left  Chalons  and  was 
marching  his  army  towards  Reims,  with  the  intention,  it 
was  conceived,  of  relieving  Bazaine.  Upon  the  advice  of 
General  Moltke  the  King  prom])tly  changed  his  march 
northward.  On  the  30th  a  French  corps  of  MacMahon's 
command  was  surprised  in  their  camp  near  Beaumont, 
which,  although  reinforced,  ended  in  the  defeat  of  the 
French  and  their  withdrawal  upon  Sedan,  where  the  final 
act  of  the  great  Napoleonic  drama  was  to  be  played. 

The  events  which  immediately  culminated  in  the  sur- 
render of  Sedan,  as  well  as  the  particulars  of  the  sur- 
render itself,  were  very  graphically  described  in  a  letter 
written  by  King  William  himself  to  Queen  Augusta,  at  Ber- 
lin. No  other  account  gives  a  better  description  of  the 
events  than  this,  and,  as  it  is  also  deeply  interesting  from 
a  personal  point  of  view,  we  shall  give  it  entire.  The 
letter,  dated  Vendresse,  south  of  Sedan,  September  3d,  is 
as  follows : 

"You  will  have  learned  through  my  three  telegrams 
the  whole  extent  of  the  great  historical  event  which 
has  just  taken  place.  It  is  like  a  dream,  even  when  one 
has  seen  it  unroll  itself  hour  by  hour;  but  when  I  con- 
sider that  after  one  great  successful  war  I  could  not  ex- 
pect anything  more  glorious  during  my  reign,  and  that  I 


now  see  this  act  follow,  destined  to  be  famous  in  the 
history  of  the  world,  I  bow  before  God,  who  aJone  has 
chosen  my  army  and  allies  to  cai'ry  it  into  execution, 
and  has  chosen  us  cOs  the  instruments  of  His  will.  It 
is  only  in  this  sense  that  I  can  conceive  this  work,  and  in 
all  humility  praise  God's  guidance  and  grace.  I  will  now 
give  you  a  picture  of  the  battle  and  its  results  in  a  com- 
pressed form.  On  the  evening  of  the  31st  and  the  morn- 
ing of  the  1st,  the  army  had  reached  its  appointed  posi- 
tions round  Sedan.  The  Bavarians  held  the  left  wing, 
near  Bazeilles,  on  the  Meuse;  next  them  the  Saxons,  to- 
ward Moncelle  and  Daigny ;  the  Guards  still  marching  to- 
ward Givonne,  the  Fifth  and  Eleventh  Corps  towards  St. 
Menges  and  Fleigneux.  As  the  Meuse  here  makes  a  sharp 
bend,  no  corps  had  been  posted  fi*om  St.  ]Menges  to  Don- 
chery ;  but  at  the  latter  place  there  were  WUrtemburgers, 
who  covered  the  rear  against  sallies  from  M6zi^res.  Count 
Stol berg's  cavalry  division  was  in  the  plain  of  Donchery 
as  right  wing ;  the  rest  of  the  Bavarians  were  in  the  front 
toward  Sedan. . 

"Notwithstanding  a  thick  fog,  the  battle  began  at 
Bazeilles  early  fnthe  morning,  and  a  sharp  action  devel- 
oped itself  by  degrees,  in  which  it  was  necessary  to  take 
house  by  house.  It  lasted  nearly  all  day,  and  Scholer's 
Erfurt  Division  (Reserve  Fourth  Corps)  was  obliged  to  as- 
sist. It  was  at  eight  o'clock,  when  I  reached  the  front  before 
Sedan,  that  the  great  battle  commenced.  A  hot  artillerj^ 
action  now  began  at  all  points.  It  lasted  for  hom-s,  and 
during  it  we  gradually  gained  ground.  As  the  above- 
named  villages  were  taken,  very  deep  and  wooded  ravines 
made  the  advance  of  the  infantrv  more  difficult,  and 
favored  the  defense.     The  villages  of  Bly  and   Floing 


were  taken,  and  the  fiery  circle  drew  gradually  closer 
round  Sedan.  It  was  a  grand  sight  from  our  position  on 
a  commanding  height  behind  the  above-mentioned  bat- 
tery, when  we  looked  to  the  front  beyond  Pont  Torey. 
The  violent  resistance  of  the  enemy  began  to  slacken  by 
degrees,  which  we  could  see  by  the  broken  battalions  that 
were  hurriedly  retreating  from  the  woods  and  villages. 
The  cavalry  endeavored  to  attack  several  battalions  of 
our  Fifth  Corps,  and  the  latter  behaved  admirably.  The 
cavalry  galloped  through  the  interval  between  the  bat- 
talions, and  then  returned  the  same  way.  This  was  re- 
peated three  times,  so  that  the  ground  was  covered  with 
corpses  and  horses,  all  of  which  we  could  see  very  well 
from  our  position.  I  have  not  been  able  to  learn  the 
number  of  this  brave  regiment,  as  the  retreat  of  the  enemy 
was  in  many  places  a  flight.  The  infantry,  cavalry  and 
artillery  rushed  in  a  crowd  into  the  town  and  its  imme- 
diate environs,  but  no  sign  was  given  that  the  enemy 
contemplated  extricating  himself  from  his  desperate 
situation  by  capitulation.  No  other  course  was  left  than 
to  bombard  the  town  with  the  heavy  battery.  In  twenty 
minutes  the  town  was  burning  in  several  places,  which, 
with  the  numerous  burning  villages  over  the  whole  field 
produced  a  terrible  impression. 

"  I  accordingly  ordered  the  firing  to  cease,  and  sent 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Von  Bronsart,  of  the  General  Staff, 
with  a  flag  of  truce,  to  demand  the  capitulation  of  the 
army  and  the  fortress.  He  was  met  by  a  Bavarian 
officer,  who  reported  to  me  that  a  French  jparlementaire 
had  announced  himself  at  the  gate.  Colonel  Von  Bronsart 
was  admitted,  and  on  his  asking  for  the  Commander-in- 
Chief,  he  was  unexpectedly  introduced  into  the  presence 


of  the  Emperor,  who  wished  to  give  him  a  letter  for  my- 
self. When  the  Emperor  asked  what  his  message  was, 
and  received  the  answer,  "  to  demand  the  surrender  of 
the  army  and  fortress,"  he  replied  that  on  this  subject  he 
must  apply  to  General  de  Wimpflfen,  who  had  undertaken 
the  command  in  place  of  the  wounded  General  MacMahon, 
and  that  he  would  now  send  his  Adjutant-General,  Reille, 
with  the  letter  to  mvself. 

''  It  was  seven  o'clock  when  Eeille  and  Bronsart  came 
to  me,  the  latter  a  little  in  advance,  and  it  was  first  through 
him  that  I  learned  with  certainty  the  presence  of  the 
Emperor.  You  may  imagine  the  impression  which  this 
made  upon  all  of  us,  but  particularly  upon  myself.  Reille 
sprang  from  his  horse  and  gave  me  the  letter  of  the 
Emperor,  adding  that  he  had  no  other  orders.  Before  I 
opened  the  letter  I  said  to  him,  ^  But  I  demand,  as  the 
first  condition,  that-  the  army  lay  down  its  arms.'  The 
letter  begins  thus  —  ^  IP  ay  ant  paspu  mourh^  d  la  t^te  de 
mes  troupes,  Je  depose  mon  epee  d  votre  Majesty, '  leaving 
all  the  rest  to  me.  My  answer  was  that  I  deplored  the 
manner  of  our  meeting,  and  begged  that  a  plenipotentiary 
might  be  sent,  with  whom  we  might  conclude  the  capitu- 
lation. After  I  had  given  the  letter  to  General  Reille,  I 
spoke  a  few  words  with  him  as  an  old  acquaintance,  and 
so  this  act  ended.  I  gave  Moltke  powers  to  negotiate, 
and  directed  Bismarck  to  remain  behind  in  case  political 
questions  should  arise.  I  then  rode  to  my  carriage  and 
drove  here,  greeted  everywhere  along  the  road  with  loud 
hurrahs  of  the  trains  that  were  marching  up  and  singing 
the  National  Hymn.  It  was  deeply  touching.  Candles 
were  lighted  everywhere,  so  that  we  were  driven  through 
an  improvised  illumination.    I  arrived  here  at  eleven 

420  KING   WILLIAM   I. 

o'clock,  and  drank  with  those  about  me  to  the  prosperity 
of  an  army  which  liad  accomplished  such  feats. 

"As  on  the  morning  of  the  2d  I  received  no  news 
from  Moltke  respecting  negotiations  for  the  capitulation, 
which  were  to  take  place  in  Donchery,  I  drove  to  the  bat- 
tle-field, ac<;ording  to  agreement,  at  eight  o'clock,  and 
met  Moltke,  who  was  coming  to  obtain  my  consent  to  the 
proposed  capitulation.  He  told  me  at  the  same  time  that 
the  Emperor  had  left  Sedan  at  five  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing, and  had  come  to  Donchery,  as  he  wished  to  speak  with 
me.  There  was  a  chateau  and  park  in  the  neighborhood, 
and  I  chose  that  place  for  our  meeting.  At  ten  o'clock  I 
reached  the  height  before  Sedan.  Moltke  and  Bismarck  ap- 
peared at  twelve  o'clock  with  the  capitulation  duly  signed. 
At  one  o'clock  I  started  again  with  Fritz  [the  Crown  Prince] 
and,  escorted  by  the  cavalry  and  staff,  I  alighted  before 
the  chateau,  where  the  Emperor  came  to  meet  me.  The 
visit  lasted  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  We  were  both  much 
moved  at  seeing  each  other  again  under  such  circum- 
stances. What  my  feelings  were  — I  had  seen  Napoleon 
only  three  years  before  at  the  summit  of  his  power  —  is 
more  than  I  can  describe.  After  this  meeting,  from  half- 
past  two  to  half-past  seven  o'clock,  I  rode  past  the  whole 
army  before  Sedan.  The  reception  given  me  by  the 
troops,  the  meeting  with  the  Guards,  now  decimated  — 
all  these  are  things  which  I  can  not  describe  to-day.  I 
w^as  much  touched  by  so  many  proofs  of  love  and  devo- 
tion. Now  farewell !  A  heart  deeply  moved  at  the  con- 
clusion of  such  a  letter.  Wilhelm." 

France  suffered  a  terrible  loss  at  Sedan.  Eighty-four 
thousand  men,  one  marshal,  forty  generals  and  2,825 
officers  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Germans,  together  with 

UebcrfutlTun^  pon  Kaifer  IPilhelm's  £eid;e  nudr  <£[iarIotteTitinTg. 



830  cannon,  seventy  mitraillieuses,  10,000  horses,  and  an 
immense  amount  of  war  material  and  ammunition.  But 
while  this  loss  was  severe,  and  the  immediate  effect 
extremely  humilating  to  France,  it  was  no  doubt  proven  a 
blessing  in  disguise. 

Imperial  Bonapartism  and  French  Chauvanism  were 
buried  at  Sedan  in  a  common  grave. 

On  the  31st  of  August,  and  also  on  the  following  day, 
General  Bazaine  at  Metz  made  an  unsuccessful  attempt  to 
break  through  the  German  lines.  He  was'  driven  back 
with  great  slaughter. 

On  the  3d  of  September,  Napoleon  III.,  ex-Emperor 
of  the  French,  wiis  transported  to  Wilhelmshohe,  in  com- 
pany with  Bismarck,  a  prisoner  of  war,  and  on  the  follow- 
ing day  the  Republic  was  proclaimed  in  France,  with 
General  Trochu,  Jules  Favre,  Gambetta  and  Thiers  as  its 
provisional  government. 

The  disasters  of  the  war,  and  the  collapse  at  Sedan, 
were  attributed  by  the  populace  of  Paris  to  the  ineffi- 
ciency of  Napoleon,  and  to  the  general  worthlessness  of 
the  military  administration  under  the  imperial  regime. 
^^Tmtt  n^est pas  perdu^^  (all  is  not  lost),  they  encourag- 
ingly said  to  each  other,  and  proudly  pointing  to  the 
patriotic  sacrifices  of  their  ancestors  under  the  First 
Republic,  resolved,  and  proclaimed  to  the  world,  they 
would  not  cede  an  inch  of  territory  nor  a  stone  of  their 
fortresses  to  the  hated  invaders,  but  would  fight  them 
to  the  bitter  end. 

Under  these  circumstances,  the  only  way  for  King 
William  to  come  to  a  definite  settlement  of  the  diffi- 
culties, was  to  march  his  troops  right  on  to  the  French 
capital,  to  compel  the  new  government  to  submit  to  his 

424  £lNa  WILIJAM  I. 

own  terms  of  peace ;  —  a  step  which  was  at  once  taken, 
and  on  the  19th  of  September  the  investment  of  that  im- 
mense and  Avonderful  city,  Paris,  began. 

When  the  facts  are  considered,  that  the  h'ne  of  circum- 
vallation  constructed  by  King  Louis  Philippe,  at  an 
expenditure  of  hundreds  of  millions  of  francs,  and  many 
years  of  industrious  labor,  and  which  is  twenty-seven 
miles  in  extent,  and  also  that  a  second  line  is  formed  by 
a  large  number  of  detached  forts,  sonae  of  considerable 
magnitude — at  a  distance  of  from  one  to  four  miles  from 
the  main  wall  —  or,  in  all,  a  defensive  line  of  at  least  fifty 
miles  in  extent,  the  seeming  impossibility  of  investing 
and  besieging  such  a  city  can  be  easily  imagined.  Paris, 
besides  its  population  of  nearly  two  million  souls,  con- 
tained 400,000  armed  men. 

The  German  armies  investing  the  city,  strongly 
intrenched  and  garrisoned  by  nearly  half  a  million  troops, 
numbered  about  215,000  men  of  all  arms.  The  bulk  of 
the  German  forces  was  occupied  in  besieging  the  great 
fortresses  of  Metz  and  Strasbourg,  and  in  preventing  nu- 
merous French  detachments  that  were  constantly  forming 
from  marching  to  the  assistance  of  their  besieged  country- 
men. The  proclamation  of  Gambetta  for  a  war  "« 
Voutrance^^  against  the  invaders  had  aroused  the  French 
people  to  a  frenzied  state  of  excitement,  and  in  an  incom  • 
parably  short  time  he  had  succeeded  in  raising  a  formidable 
army  in  Southern  France.  The  first  Bavarian  troops  of 
the  German  forces  and  other  detachments  were  sent 
against  them,  and  in  the  battles  which  followed,  from  the 
10th  to  the  17th  of  October,  at  Artenay,  the  French  wero 
defeated,  at  which  time  Orleans  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Germans.    In  the  meantime^  the  Germans  had  achieved 




a  glorious  success  in  the  East.  Strasburg,  the  ancient 
German  city,  which,  through  the  treachery  of  King  Louis 
XIV.  had  been  wrenched  from  Germany  two  hundred 
years  before,  was  surrendered  by  General  XJlrich  on  the 
27th  of  September.  Seventeen  thousand  prisoners  and  a 
large  amount  of  military  stores  fell  into  the  hands  of  tlie 
Germans.  General  "Werder,  to  whom  the  garrison  h;id 
capitulated,  now  marched  against  the  fortress  of  Scblott- 
stadt,  compelling  its  suiTender,  clearing  the  wliule  of 
Alsace  of  the  enemy's  forces,  and  leaving  a  besieging 
detachment  before  the  fortress  of  Belfort,  which  covered 
the  passes  to  the  Rhine.  From  here  he  continued  his 
march  towards  Besanjon  and  Dijon,  in  the  Champagne 
district.  But  the  powerful  fortress  of  Metz  still  remained 
in  the  hands  of  the  French.  The  investinsr  armv  under 
Prince  Frederick  Charles  was  beginning  to  be  decimated 
by  disease,  through  exposure  and  unwholesome  quarters. 
On  October  7th,  Bazaine  had  made  another  attempt  to 
break  through  the  chain  of  iron  which  kept  him  and  his 
army  prisoners,  but  the  effort  ended  disastrously.  For 
reasons  yet  unknown,  but  probably  the  latent  ambition  to 
play  the  r61e  of  savior  of  the  Empire,  he  refused  to  rec- 
ognize the  French  Republic,  or  any  of  its  representatives, 
and  entered  on  his  own  account  into  negotiations  with 
Prince  Frederick  Charles.  He  offered  to  surrender  the 
army,  but  not  the  fortress,  addingthese  conditions :  "  That 
the  Empire  be  restored."  This  demand  being  peremp- 
torily refused,  and  his  supplies  being  nearly  exhausted,  on 
the  27th  of  October  he  signed  an  unconditional  surrender. 
One  hundred  and  seventy-three  thousand  men,  with  three 
marshals  and  0,000  officers,  were  made  prisoners,  and 
fifty-three  eagles,102  mitrailleuse,  3,000  guns  and  immense 

426  KING  WtLUAM  I. 

quantities  of  military  stores  were  the  German  trophies  of 
that  day. 

The  surrender  of  Metz  relieved  the  army  of  Frederick 
Charles,  and  enabled  General  Moltke  to  send  two  corps, 
under  the  command  of  General  Manteuffel,  into  the  north 
of  France,  and  to  direct  Prince  Frederick  Charles  to  pro- 
ceed, with  his  remaining  three  corps,  in  forced  marches  to 
the  Champagne  and  Burgundy  provinces  toward  Troyes 
and  Orleans,  where  the  German  General  Von  der  Tann 
was  in  a  precarious  situation. 

On  November  8th,  the  latter  was  attacked  by  a  large 
force  and  was  compelled  to  evacuate  Orleans.  It  was  only 
with  the  greatest  exertions  that  he  escaped  being  captured 
or  annihilated  by  the  overwhelming  numbers  of  French 
troops,  who  in  streams  were  flocking  under  the  standard  of 
General  Aurellesde  Paladine,  in  command  of  the  army  of 
the  Loire.  But  Prince  Frederick  Charles,  with  his  60,000 
victorious  troops  from  before  Metz,  appeared  now  on  the 
the  scene  of  action.  After  a  number  of  minor  but  sanguin- 
ary engagements  he  advanced  upon  Orleans  in  force,  and 
compelled  the  French  to  capitulate.  During  this  time 
General  Manteulfel,  with  his  two  corps  from  before  Metz, 
had  marched  upon  Amiens,  which  was  held  by  80,000 
French  troops ;  but  not  until  after  a  bloody  struggle  was 
the  place  captured,  on  the  27th  of  November.  The 
besiegers  of  Paris  were  now  protected  from  serious  inter- 
ference by  an  army  under  General  Werder  in  the  vicinity 
of  Dijon  on  the  east,  by  Prince  Frederick  Charles  at 
Orleans  on  the  south,  and  by  General  Manteuflfel  at 
Amiens  on  the  north. 

In  the  extremity  of  their  condition,  the  French  began 
to  look  for  help  beyond  the  frontiers. 


Their  former  arrogance  had  given  place  to  humility. 
Like  a  resistless  torrent  the  German  anuics  now  rolled 
over  French  territory,  driving  the  enemies  steadily  before 
their  columns.  On  the  12th,  the  armv  of  the  Crown 
Prince  having  cleared  the  passes  through  the  Vosges  moun- 
tains,  and  finding  no  further  obstructions,  was  pushing  on 
towards  Chalons,  when  it  came  up  and  opened  communica- 
tion with  the  army  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles. 

The  day  before.  King  William  had  moved  his  head- 
quarters upon  French  soil,  and  issued  the  following  Droc- 
lamation  to  the  French  people : 

"  We,  William,  King  of  Prussia,  make  known  the  fol- 
lowing to  the  inhabitants  of  the  French  territories  occupied 
by  the  German  armies.  The  Emperor  Napoleon  having 
made,  by  land  and  by  sea,  an  attack  on  the  German  nation, 
which  desired  and  still  desires  to  live  in  peace  with  the 
French  people,  I  have  assumed  the  command  of  the  Ger- 
man armies  to  repel  this  aggression,  and  I  have  been  led 
by  military  circumstances  to  cross  the  frontiers  of  France. 
I  am  waging  war  against  soldiers,  not  against  French 
citizens.  The  latter,  consequently,  will  continue  to  enjoy 
security  for  their  persons  and  property  as  long  as  they 
themselves  shall  not,  by  hostile  attempts  against  the  Ger- 
man troops,  deprive  me  of  the  right  of  according  them  my 
protection.  By  special  arrangements,  which  will  be  duly 
made  known  to  the  public,  the  Generals  commanding  the 
different  corps  will  determine  the  measures  to  be  taken 
toward  the  communes  or  individuals  that  may  place 
themselves  in  opposition  to  the  usages  of  war.  They  will, 
in  like  manner,  regulate  all  that  concerns  the  requisitions 
which  may  be  necessary  for  the  wants  of  the  troops,  and 
they  will  fix  the  rate  of  exchange  between  French  and 


German  currencies,  in  order  to  facilitate  the  individual 
transactions  between  the  troops  and  the  inhabitants." 

M.  Thiere,  the  accomplished  diplomat  of  France,  pre- 
tending to  seek  recognition  from  foreign  Powei^s  for  the 
Republic,  started  upon  a  pilgrimage  to  the  courts  of  Vienna, 
St.  Petersburg  and  London.  His  most  importunate  en- 
treaties, however,  in  behalf  of  France,  were  met  with 
polite  but  decided  refusals.  Upon  his  return  the  "  extrem- 
ists "  succeeded  in  becoming  masters  of  the  situation,  which 
resulted'  in  the  establishment  of  the  Conmiune,  and,  as 
of  old,  during  its  short  rule  and  final  suppression  another 
bloody  page  to  the  history  of  France  was  furnished. 

The  defeat,  however,  of  the  French  armies  at  Orleans 
seemed  not  to  have  damped  the  ardor  of  Premier  6am- 
betta  in  the  least,  but  he  realized  that  for  the  present  the 
plan  of  attacking  the  besieging  Germans  in  the  rear  must 
be  abandoned.  He  was  fertile  in  plans,  however,  and  his 
next  was  the  bold  project  of  raising  a  new  army  in  the 
southeast  of  France,  and  after  crushing  "Werder's  forces 
at  Dijon  to  send  an  invading  army  into  the  south  of  Ger- 
many. To  this  end  he  ordered  General  Bourbaki  to 
march  his  Army  of  the  Loire  toward  Lyons,  to  join  the 
troops  collecting  there.  Simultaneously  with  the  execu- 
tion of  this  plan  in  the  South,  General  Chanzy  was  also 
ordered  to  make  a  demonstration  for  the  relief  of  Paris ; 
but  he  was  met  on  the  7th  by  the  forces  under  the  Grand 
Duke  of  Mecklenburg  at  Marchenoir  and  Meung,  and  on 
the  10th  was  accordingly  driven  from  his  purpose  of  de- 
livering Paris  from  longer  German  investment.  A  few 
weeks  later  in  a  second  attempt  he  crossed  the  path  of 
Prince  Frederick  Charles,  when  he  was  defeated  in  a  num- 
ber of  hotly  contested  engagements  near  Le  Mans,  losing 


20,000  men,  killed  and  taken  prisoner.  In  the  meantime 
the  French  army  of  the  North,  under  General  Faidherbe, 
had  met  a  similar  fate  at  the  hands  of  the  intrepid  Gen- 
eral Goben,  who  had  succeeded  Mantueflfel  in  the  com- 
mand of  the  Germans  at  Amiens  and  Kouen.  On  the 
19th  of  January  Faidherbe's  forces  were  attacked  at  St. 
Quintin,  and  completely  routed  with  a  loss  of  10,000 

These  encouraging  reports  from  the  interior  of  the 
enemy's  country  were  very  gratifying  to  King  Will- 
iam, who  had  established  his  headquarters  at  Versailles ; 
but  both  himself  and  General  Moltke  were  somewhat 
apprehensive  in  regard  to  General  Bourbaki's  movements. 
This  General  had  left  Bourges  about  the  middle  of  Decem- 
ber, 1870,  with  the  evident  intention  of  overrunning  Alsace. 
The  only  force  to  oppose  him  was  Werder's  Corps,  which, 
on  the  18th  of  December,  had  gained  a  victory  over 
20,000  of  Garibaldi's  Italian  Volunteers.  Appreciat- 
ing the  futility  of  contending  in  the  open  field  against 
such  overwhelming  odds  as  Bourbaki  would  bring  against 
him,  Werder  had  retired  slowly,  but  constantly  fighting, 
to  a  strong  position  near  Belfort.  There  he  determined 
to  make  a  stand  in  order  to  prevent  the  passage  of  Bour- 
baki's army,  but  to  defeat  his  attempt  to  invade  Germany 
at  all  hazards.  On  the  15th  of  January  the  enemy 
appeared  in  sight,  and  soon  attempted  a  general  assault 
upon  Werder's  position.  But  the  Prussian  needle-gun 
made  such  havoc  in  Bourbaki's  ranks  as  to  compel  his 
withdrawal.  On  the  16th,  and  again  on  the  17th,  the 
assault  was  renewed  with  the  same  disastrous  result  to  the 
French.  But  the  near  approach  of  two  German  army  corps, 
who,  under  General  Manteuffel,  had  been  sent  to  Werder's 

430'  KING  WILLIAM  I. 

relief,  completed  Bourbaki's  discomfiture,  who,  in  attempt- 
ing to  escape  toward  Lyon,  was  intercepted  and  almost 
surrounded  on  the  road  thither.  The  only  alternative  left 
to  Bourbaki  was  to  surrender  his  army  to  Manteuflfel,  or 
to  cross  with  his  army  over  the  frontier  into  Switzerland, 
('hoosing  the  latter,  his  84,000  men  marched  over  the  line 
and  were  disarmed  by  the  authorities  of  the  little  Repub- 
lic, on  February  1,  1871. 

In  the  meantime  matters  about  Paris  had  taken  a 
favorable  turn  for  the  Germans.  All  the  important  and 
minor  sorties  which  had  been  attempted  by  General 
Trochu  had  failed.  On  the  27th  of  December  the  bom- 
bardment of  the  city  tVus  begun,  causing  immense  damages, 
and  the  calamities  and  terrors  attending  the  siege  of  an 
overcrowded  city  were  beginning  to  be  felt  in  every  house- 
hold of  the  capital.  But  although  horse-flesh  had  become 
a  rarity,  and  rats  were  now  counted  among  the  delicacies 
of  the  menuj  the  fortitude  of  the  unhappy  inhabitants  of 
Paris  remained  unshaken,  and  it  was  not  until  the  corrob- 
orated news  of  the  defeat  and  dissolution  of  the  armies  in 
the  field  had  convinced  them  of  the  absolute  needlessness 
of  further  resistance,  that  the  word  "  surrender "  with 
safety  dared  to  pass  any  man's  lips. 

As  a  last  extremity  General  Trochu  and  Gambetta 
decided  to  make  one  more,  one  supreme  effort  to  break  the 
cordon  of  the  enemy's  fire.  On  the  19th  of  January,  under 
the  protection  of  the  guns  of  Mount  Valerien,  the  most 
powerful  fort  in  the  line  of  fortifications.  General  Trochu 
drew  up  100,000  men  for  the  final  desperate  sortie.  Fate 
was  against  him,  however ;  20,000  Germans  barred  his 
passage,  and  drove  him,  after  fearful  carnage,  back  under 
the  guns  of  Mount  Valerien.    This  last  attempt  having 

Kronprinj  jtiebrti^  ECilltelm  anb  <5cmat)Iin. 
^^i%tt  Vaifcr  ^iettrid;  II[.  nni  bit  Uatferin  Dictorio.' 

Crown  Prince  Frederic  WiUtam  and  Wife. 
Now  Emperor  Frederic  III,  and  the  Empress  Victoria 


failed,  the  army  was  discouraged  and  the  morale  of  the 
people  broken. 

On  the  23d  of  January,  Jules  Favre,  in  the  name  of 
the  provisional  government,  proceeded  to  Versailles,  and 
on  the  28th  an  armistice  of  twenty-one  days  was  signed ; 
on  the  29lh,  the  now  Emperor  William  I.  telegraphed  to 
Empress  Augusta,  at  Berlin,  as  follows : 

"Last  night  an  armistice  for  three  weeks  was  signed. 
The  troops  of  the  line  and  the  mobiles  will  be  interned  in 
Paris  as  prisoners  of  war.  The  Garde  NaUonah  Seden- 
tai/re  undertakes  the  preservation  of  order.  We  occupy 
all  the  forts.  Paris  remains  invested.  It  will  be  allowed 
to  procure  provisions  as  soon  as  the  arms  have  been 
delivered  up.  A  Constituent  Assembly  will  be  sum- 
moned to  meet  at  Bordeaux  in  a  fortnight.  The  armies  in 
the  field  retain  possession  of  the  respective  tracts  of  coun- 
try occupied  by  them,  with  neutral  zones  intervening. 
This  is  the  first  blessed  reward  of  patriotism,  heroism 
and  heavy  sacrifices.  I  thank  God  for  this  fresh  mercy. 
May  peace  soon  follow ! " 

The  conditions  of  the  proposed  treaty  of  peace  were 
almost  exclusively  discussed  by  Count  Bismarck  on  the 
part  of  Germany,  and  by  Jules  Favre  and  Thiers  on  the 
part  of  France.  Bismarck's  demands  were  the  cession  of 
Alsace,  the  German  speaking  portion  of  Lothringia,  and 
the  payment  of  five  billion  francs  to  Germany.  With 
bated  breaths  and  beating  hearts  the  two  statesmen 
listened  to  the  humiliating  and  severe  conditions  of  the 
Iron  Chancellor.  But  not  all  the  protestations  and  suppli- 
cations—  not  even  requests  of  representatives  of  foreign 
Powers — availed  to  modify  these  harsh  conditions. 

In  the  meantime  the  final  act  of  the  unification  of 

434  KING   WILLIAM  I. 

Germany  had  been  performed  at  the  city  of  Louis  XIV. 
—  the  French  King,  who  had  done  more  to  disrupt  the 
Fatherland  than  any  other  foreign  potentate  before  the 
advent  of  Napoleon  I. 

On  the  18th  of  January,  1871,  in  the  celebrated  Hall 
of  the  Mirrors  of  the  Louis  XIV.  royal  chateau  at  Ver- 
sailles, the  elite  of  the  German  army  still  before  Paris, 
assembled  to  witness  King  William's  coronation  as  Em- 
peror of  Gennany.  A  splendid  galaxy  of  oflBcers  of  the 
diflferent  armies  and  grades  stood  up  in  a  semi-circle, 
awaiting  the  arrival  of  the  King  and  his  suite. 

Soon  his  majesty,  followed  by  the  Crown  Prince  Fred- 
erick William,  the  princes  of  the  Empire  and  the  generals 
of  the  army,  all  in  full  uniforms,  entered  the  hall,  the  King 
taking  his  position  upon  the  elevated  center  of  the  hall. 
After  a  somewhat  lengthy  and  imposing  religious  cere- 
mony, Count  Bismarck,  upon  a  sign  from  the  King,stepped 
to  the  front,  and  with  loud  sonorous  voice  read  the  follow- 
ing proclamation : 

"  We,  William,  by  the  Grace  of  God,  King  of  Prussia, 
herebv  announce  that  the  German  Princes  and  Free  Towns 
having  addressed  to  us  a  unanimous  call  to  renew  and  un- 
dertake, with  the  re-establishment  of  the  German  Empire, 
the  dignity  of  Emperor,  which  now  for  sixty  years  has 
been  in  abeyance,  and  the  requisite  provisions  having  been 
inserted  in  the  Constitution  of  the  German  Confederation, 
we  regard  it  as  a  duty  we  owe  to  the  entire  Fatherland  to 
comply  with  this  call  of  the  united  German  Princes  and 
Free  Towns,  and  to  accept  the  dignity  of  Emperor.  Accord- 
ingly, we  and  our  successors  to  the  Crown  of  Prussia 
henceforth  shall  use  the  Imperial  title  in  all  the  relations 
and  afifairs  of  the  German  Empire,  and  we  hope  to  God 



that  it  may  be  vouchsafed  to  the  German  nation  to  lead 
the  Fatherland  on  to  a  blessed  future,  under  the  auspices 
of  its  ancient  splendor.  We  assume  the  Imperial  dignity, 
conscious  of  the  duty  to  protect  with  German  loyalty  the 
rights  of  the  Empire  and  its  members,  to  preserve  peace,  to 
maintain  the  independence  of  Germany,  and  to  strengthen 
the  power  of  the  people.  We  accept  it  in  the  hope  that 
it  will  be  granted  to  the  German  people  to  enjoy  in  last- 
ing peace  the  reward  of  the  arduous  and  heroic  struggles 
within  boundaries  which  will  give  to  the  Fatherland  that 
security  against  renewed  French  attacks  which  it  has 
lacked  for  centuries.  May  God  grant  to  us  and  to  our 
successors  to  the  Imperial  Crown,  that  we  may  be  the 
defenders  of  the  German  Empire  at  all  times ;  not  in 
martial  conquests,  but  in  works  of  peace  in  the  sphere  of 
national  prosperity,  freedom,  and  civilization." 

The  treaty  was  ratified  by  the  French  Assembly  at 
Bonleaux,  which  by  resolution,  also,  formally  deposed 
Napoleon  III.,  declaring  him  the  individual  most  respons- 
ible for  all  the  nusfortunes,  the  ruin,  the  invasion,  and  the 
final  dismemberment  of  France. 

It  is  one  of  the  defects  of  human  nature,  to  attribute 
the  results  of  our  own  blindness  and  shortcomings  to  in- 
struments of  one's  own  making.  The  cry  "  A  Berlin  !  a 
has  les  Pmsse!'''^  came  from  the  press,  politicians  and  the 
population  of  Paris,  and  not  from  Napoleon  III.;  he 
simply  followed  the  cry  because  he  could  not  help  himself. 

On  the  3d  of  March,  when  the  victorious  armies  had 
taken  up  their  return  march  to  Germany,  the  terms  of 
surrender  having  been  arranged,  the  garrison  of  Paris  and 
the  forts  surrendered  to  the  Germans.  To  complete 
France's  humiliation,  30,000  Germans  entered  the  gates  of 

436  KINa  WILLIAM  I. 

the  great  city.  Marching  past  the  Aro  de  Triomphe, 
where,  upon  plates  of  brass,  the  French  victories  over  the 
Germans  at  Austerlitz,  Friedland,  Jena,  etc.,  are  recorded, 
they  proceeded  along  the  Champa  Elyseea  as  far  as  the 
Place  de  la  Concorde^  playing  the  whole  way  the  "  Wachi 
am  RhineP  This  performance  was  looked  upon  in  sullen 
silence  by  the  populace.  Bismarck,  sitting  upon  his 
charger,  witnessed  this  scene  of  his  final  triumph  for  an 
instant,  after  which  he  hurriedly  rode  back  to  Versailles. 

Emperor  William  telegraphed  from  Versailles  to 
Berlin :  "  I  have  just  ratified  the  conclusion  of  peace,  it 
having  been  accepted  yesterday  by  the  National  Assembly 
in  Bordeaux.  Thus  far  is  the  great  work  complete,  which 
by  seven  months'  victorious  battles  has  been  achieved, 
thanks  to  the  valor,  devotion  and  endurance  of  our  incom- 
parable army  in  all  its  parts  and  the  willing  sacrifices  of 
the  whole  Fatherland.  The  Lord  of  Hosts  has  every 
where  visibly  blessed  our  enterprises,  and  therefore,  by 
His  mercy,  has  permitted  this  honorable  peace  to  be 
achieved.  To  Him  be  the  honor;  to  the  army  and  the 
Fatherland  I  render  thanks  from  a  heart  deeply  moved.  " 

On  the  7th,  the  Emperor  and  his  staff  left  Versailles, 
and  on  the  16th,  at  the  head  of  his  victorious  armies,  the 
triumphal  entry  into  Berlin  took  place. 

The  war  had  lasted  210  days.  During  this  compara- 
tively short  period  three  great  French  armies  were  taken 
prisoners,  and  another  forced  to  take  refuge  in  Switzer- 
land. Seventeen  great  battles,  and  156  minor  engage- 
ments Trere  fought.  Twenty-two  fortresses  were  taken 
by  the  Germans,  7,200  pieces  of  artillery,  600,000  small 
arms,  and  385,000  prisoners,  including  11,360  officers. 


The  final  treaty  of  peace,  including  the  conditions  already 
stated,  was  concluded  at  Frankfort,  on  the  10th  of  May, 

Late  at  night  on  the  18th  of  August,  Bismarck  penned 
this  telegram  to  Queen  Augusta,  at  the  dictation  of  the 
King :  "  The  French  army  in  a  very  strong  position  west- 
ward of  Metz,  attacked,  completely  beaten  after  a  battle 
of  nine  hours,  cut  off  from  its  communication  with  Paris, 
and  hurled  back  on  Metz." 

Dr.  Busch  gives  the  following  graphic  recital  from 
Count  Bismarck's  own  lips  of  his  experiences  on  that 
awful  day :  "  The  whole  day  I  had  nothing  to  eat  but 
the  soldiers'  bread  and  fat  bacon.  Now  we  found  some 
eggs-five  or  six.  The  others  must  have  theirs  boiled ; 
but  I  like  them  uncooked,  so  I  got  a  couple  of  them,  and 
broke  them  on  the  pommel  of  my  sword,  and  was  much 
refreshed.  When  it  got  light,  I  took  the  first  warm  food 
I  had  tasted  for  six-and-thirty  hours;  it  was  only  pea- 
sausage  soup,  which  General  Goeben  gave  me,  but  it  tasted 
quite  excellent.  ...  I  had  sent  my  horse  to  water,  and 
stood  in  the  dusk  near  a  battery,  which  was  firing.  The 
French  were  silent,  but  when  we  thought  their  artillery 
was  disabled,  they  were  only  concentrating  their  guns  and 
mitrailleuses  for  a  last  great  push.  Suddenly  they  began 
quite  a  fearful  fire,  with  shells  and  such  like — an  incessant 
cracking  and  rolling,  whizzing  and  screaming  in  the  air. 
We  were  separated  from  the  King,  who  had  been  sent 
back  by  Roon.  I  stayed  by  the  battery,  and  thought  to 
myself,  '  If  we  have  to  retreat  put  yourself  on  the  first 
gun-carriage  you  can  find.'  We  now  expected  that  the 
French  infantry  would  support  the  attack,  when  they 
might  have  taken  me  prisoner,  unless  the  artillery  carried 

438  KING   WILUAM  I. 

me  away  with  them.  But  the  attack  failed,  and  at  last 
the  horses  returned,  and  I  set  off  back  to  the  King.  We 
had  gone  out  of  the  rain  into  the  gutter,  for  where  we 
had  ridden  to  the  shells  were  falling  thick,  whereas  before 
they  had  passed  over  our  heads.  Next  morning  we  saw 
the  deep  holes  they  had  ploughed  in  the  ground. 

"  The  King  had  to  go  back  farther,  as  I  had  told  him 
to  do,  after  the  officers  had  made  representations  to  me. 
It  was  now  night.  The  King  said  he  was  hungry,  and 
what  could  he  have  to  eat  ?  There  was  plenty  to  drink  — 
wine  and  bad  rum  from  a  suttler — but  not  a  morsel  to 
eat  but  dry  bread.  At  last,  in  the  village,  we  got  a  few 
cutlets,  just  enough  for  the  King,  but  not  for  anyone 
else,  so  I  had  to  find  out  something  for  myself.  His 
Majesty  wanted  to  sleep  in  the  carriage,  among  dead 
horses  and  badly-wounded  men.  He  afterwards  found 
accommodation  in  a  little  public-house.  The  Chancellor 
had  to  look  out  somewhere  else.  The  heir  of  one  of  the 
greatest  German  potentates  (the  young  Hereditary  Grand 
Duke  of  Mecklenburg)  kept  watch  by  our  common  car- 
riage, that  nothing  should  be  stolen,  and  General  Sheridan 
and  I  set  off  to  find  a  sleeping  place.  We  came  to  a  house 
which  was  still  burning,  and  that  was  too  hot.  I  asked 
at  another — 'Full  of  wounded  soldiers.'  In  a  third,  also 
full  of  the  wounded.  In  a  fourth,  just  the  same,  but  I 
was  not  to  be  denied  this  time.  I  looked  up  and  saw  a 
window  which  was  dark.  '  What  have  you  got  up  there  ? ' 
I  asked.  '  More  wounded  soldiers.'  ^  That  we  shall  see 
for  ourselves.'  I  went  up  and  found  three  empty  beds, 
with  good  and  apparently  fairly  clean  straw  mattresses. 
Here  we  took  up  our  night  quarters,  and  I  slept  capitally." 

Once  more  the  Gemums  showed  their  great  superiority 
in  all  that  concerns  the  strategical  aspect  of  war. 


The  people  of  Germany,  and  more  especially  of  Prus- 
sia, had  now  become  fully  conscious  that  the  solicitude 
with  which  Emperor  William  during  his  whole  lifetime 
had  been  watching  over  the  military  establishments  of  the 
country,  had  at  last  borne  its  fruit.  They  now,  also, 
recognized  the  fact,  that  they  had  erred  in  refusing  to 
furnish  him  the  means  ho  had  called  for  for  the  reorgani- 
zation of  the  army,  and  felt  thankful  for  his  unswerving 
adherence  to  his  patriotic  convictions  in  spite  of  their 
opposition.  The  "  geographical  expression,"  of  the  Ger- 
many of  pre-Napoleonic  times  had  now  become  a  reality, 
thanks  to  the  foresight  of  Emperor  WiUiam  I.,  and  the 
oversight  of  the  Iron  Chancellor,  Bismarck.  The  Germans 
soon  began  to  understand  the  power  of  nationality,  and 
the  peace  which  followed  was  fraught  with  great  industrial 
and  intellectual  progress. 

On  the  21st  of  March,  1871,  the  Parliament  of  United 
Germany  opened  its  sessions.  On  this  occasion  Emperor 
William  in  his  opening  speech  gave  a  hint  to  the  Catholic 
representatives,  who  had  begun  to  agitate  the  restoration 
of  the  Pope's  temporal  power,  as  follows : 

'*The  new  Empire,"  he  said,  "takes  its  birth  from  the 
self-subsisting  spirit  of  the  people  itself,  which,  never  tak- 
ing up  arms  except  for  defence,  is  steadfastly  devoted  to 
the  works  of  peace.  In  its  intercourse  with  foreign  na- 
tions, Germany  demands  for  her  citizens  no  greater  con- 
sideration than  what  justice  and  civilization  involve,  and 
uninfluenced  by  liking  or  disliking,  leaves  it  to  every  na- 
tion to  find  its  own  way  to  unity,  to  every  State  to  deter- 
mine for  itself  the  form  of  its  constitution.  We  trust 
that  the  days  of  interference  in  the  life  of  other  nations 
will  never,  under  any  pretext  or  in  any  form,  return," 

440  KING   WILLIAM   I. 

On  the  14th  of  April,  1871,  the  Eeichstag  ratified  the 
constitution  of  the  German  Empire,  and,  on  the  4th  of 
May  following,  the  constitution  went  into  force. 

[The  question  is  often  heard,  "  What  is  the  difference 
between  the  Landtag,Bundesrath  and  Imperial  Diet,  etc.?" 
and,  in  order  that  the  general  reader  may  understand  the 
construction  and  functions  of  the  legislative  bodies  called 
the  Reichstag  and  Herrenhaus,  etc.,  in  Germany,  the 
author  will  attempt  an  explanation  by  first  saying  that 
the  constitution  of  Germany  is  not  analagous  to  that  of 
the  United  States.  The  Imperial  Diet  is  the  Eeichstag, 
and  constitutes  the  legislative  branch  of  the  German  Em- 
pire, and  may  be  compared  to  our  National  House  of 
Representatives.  It  has  the  power  to  originate  and, 
with  the  consent  of  the  Bundesrath,  to  enact  national 
laws.  The  members  are  elected  for  three  years,  in  the 
ratio  of  one  representative  for  everj^  10,000  inhabitants  ; 
but  a  State  having. less  than  100,000  inhabitants  is  en- 
titled to  but  one  representative.  The  members  receive 
no  compensation.  They  are  elected  by  the  voters  of  each 
State  at  large.  Everv  German  twenty-five  years  old,  of 
active  citizenship,  has  a  right  to  vote  in  the  State  in  which 
he  was  bom.  The  Bundesrath  is  the  highest  executive 
and  administrative  power  in  the  Empire.  Its  principal 
features  were  created  by  the  Norddeustche  Bund  of  1867, 
and  incorporated  into  the  constitution  of  1871.  It  has 
peculiarities  which  do  not  permit  of  its  being  likened  to 
our  Senate  or  the  upper  house  of  any  assembly;  nor  is 
it  a  purely  executive  body.  It  resembles  a  council  of 
States,  and  is  now  composed  of  fifty-nine  members,  the 
delegates  of  the  several  States,  which,  under  the  supremacy 
of  Prussia,  compose  the  German  Empire.     Prussia  sends 


seventeen  delegates,  Bavaria  six,  WUi-temberg  four,  Sax- 
ony four,  Saxe- Weimar  and  Brunswick  two  each,  the  other 
States  but  one  each.  The  Bundesrath  has  power  to  de- 
cide upon  the  legislative  measures  to  be  proposed  to  the 
Reichstag ;  on  the  rules  and  regulations  to  be  adopted  in 
the  administrative  and  executive  branches  of  the  Empire ; 
in  other  respects  it  has  some  of  the  powers  of  the  execu- 
tive. The  members  of  the  Bundesrath  have  the  privileges 
of  the  floor  in  the  proceedings  of  the  Imperial  Diet,  and 
on  pending  questions  to  take  part  in  the  debates.  In 
case  the  delegates  of  a  certain  State  are  unable  to  carry  a 
measure  in  the  Bundesrath,  they  may  submit  the  question 
to  the  Imperial  Diet  or  Reichstag.  The  Bundesrath  and 
Reichstag,  therefore,  form  the  Imperial  Government  of 
Germany.  The  postal  service,  the  army  and  navy  are 
under  their  administration.  The  executive  branch,  the 
third  branch  of  the  Imperial  Government,  is  represented 
by  the  executive  officer,  the  Emj)eror,  who  has  the  right 
to  appoint  a  Chancellor  of  the  Empire,  whose  duty,  among 
others,  is  to  receive  foreign  ambassadors  and  officials,  and 
with  the  consent  of  the  Emperor  to  appoint  representa- 
tives of  the  German  Empire  —  Bavaria  excepted  —  to 
other  foreign  countries.  The  Emperor  can  only  declare 
war  for  the  German  Empire  in  case  German  territory  is 
invaded  by  foreign  foes.  With  the  affairs  of  a  single 
State  the  German  government  has  nothing  to  do.  The 
states  are  autonomous,  each  having  its  own  sovereign  and 
constitution.  As,  for  instance,  Prussia  is  governed  by  her 
king,  Frederick  III.,  who  was  also  chosen  in  1888  by  the 
German  sovereigns.  Emperor  of  Germany.  Prussia  has 
her  Parliament,  consisting  of  a  Chamber  of  Deputies  and 
House  of  Lords  (Herrenhaus),  together  called  the  Landtag. 



444  KiNO  WiLLtAH  1. 

The  members  of  the  two  Chambers  are  the  representatives 
of  the  whole  State  of  Prussia,  not  of  a  district.  They  are 
not  expected  to  vote  for  a  constituency  nor  to  give  a 
reason  for  their  votes.  No  member  can  be  prosecuted 
during  the  time  the  Chamber  is  in  session.  Each  Cham- 
ber draws  up  its  own  rules  by  which  it  is  governed.  The 
Herrenhaus  is  composed  of  the  princes  of  the  blood  who 
have  reached  their  majority,  hereditary  members  and 
members  appointed  for  life.  The  number  is  not  limited  ; 
the  members  must  have  reached  the  age  of  thirty  years, 
and  can  receive  no  salary  nor  indemnity  of  any  sort.  The 
Chamber  of  Deputies  consists  of  432  members,  elected  for 
three  years.  The  governments  of  Bavaria,  Wlirtemberg 
and  the  other  German  States,  have  their  separate  Land- 
tags, formed  of  two  houses,  the  same  as  Prussia.] 

The  majority  of  the  German  Parliament,  hand  in 
hand  with  the  Emperor,  now  entered  heartily  into  the 
work  of  regeneration. 

The  next  great  question  in  order  was  the  act  of  incor- 
poration of  Alsace  and  Lorraine  into  the  Empire.  Prince 
Bismarck  knew  that  his  measure  would  meet  with  opposi- 
tion in  Parliament,  and  from  the  following  speech  which 
he  delivered  on  the  8d  of  May,  his  expectations  on  this 
subject  are  set  forth : 

"  Ten  months  ago  no  one  m  Germany  desired  war,  but 
all  were  determined,  if  it  should  be  forced  upon  us,  to 
carry  it  through,  and  to  obtain  guarantees  against  a  recur- 
rence of  attacks  by  France.  France,  possessing  Alsace, 
continually  threatened  Germany.  On  the  6th  of  August, 
1866,  the  French  ambassador  handed  me  an  ultimatum 
demanding  the  cession  of  Mayence  to  France,  and  telling 
us,  in  the  alternative,  to  expect  an  immediate  declaration 


of  war.  It  was  only  the  illness  of  the  Emperor  Napol- 
eon which  then  prevented  its  outbreak.  During  the  late 
war  neutral  Powers  made  mediatory  proposals.  In  the 
firet  instance  we  were  asked  to  content  ourselves  with  the 
costs  of  the  war  and  the  razing  of  a  fortress.  This  did 
not  satisfy  us.  It  was  necessary  that  the  bulwark  from 
which  France  could  sally  forth  for  attack  should  be  pushed 
farther  back.  Another  proposal  was  to  neutralize 
Alsace  and  Lorraine.  But  that  neutral  State  would  have 
possessed  neither  the  power  nor  the  will  to  preserve  its 
neutrality  in  case  of  war.  We  were  obliged  to  incorpo- 
rate Alsace  with  the  territory  of  Germany  in  order  to 
insure  the  peace  of  Europe.  It  is  true  the  averaion  of 
the  population  of  Alsace  and  Lorraine  is  an  obstacle  to 
such  a  measure.  Still,  the  population  is  thoroughly  Ger- 
man, forming  a  sort  of  aristocracy  in  France  by  virtue  of 
its  noble  and  Teutonic  qualities.  We  shall  strive  to  win 
back  to  us  this  population,  by  means  of  Teutonic  patience 
and  love.  We  shall  especiallj'  grant  communal  liberties. 
The  Federal  Council  will  carefully  examine  all  amend- 
ments proposed  by  the  Reichstag.  Let  us  work  together 
with  mutual  confidence." 

The  act  of  incorporation  provided  that  ".he  govern- 
ment of  Alsace  and  Lorraine  be  vested  exclusively  in  the 
Emperor  until  January  1,  1874,  when  the  constitution 
of  the  German  Empire  was  to  be  introduced  and  the 
provinces  form  an  integral  part  of  the  German  realm. 
The  act  was  passed  with  the  almost  unanimous  vote  of 
the  assembly. 

Prince  Bismarck,  the  new  Chancellor  of  the  Empire, 
was  thereupon  appointed  by  the  Emperor  governor  of 
the  annexed  provinces.    Thus  was  the  act  of  restitution 


completed  bj^  which  Germany  was  repossessed  of  a  portion 
of  her  territory  which  had  been  forcibly  taken  from  her 
nearly  two  hundred  years  before  by  Louis  XIY.  There  is 
great  waste  of  sentiment  in  the  united  states  over  this 
I'iglitful  restitution  performed  by  Emperor  William  I.,  on 
tlie  ground  that  it  was  accomplished  without  leave  oi 
consent  of  the  re-annexed  provinces.  One  might  as  well 
complain  about  the  injustice  of  returning  a  child  to  its 
rightful  mother  from  whom  it  was  stolen  while  a  helpless 
babe.  The  original  title  of  the  provinces  was  with  Ger- 
many, and  both  justice  and  the  law  of  self-preservation 
demanded  their  restitution  to  the  mother  country. 



A  Lit  difficulties  in  the  path  of  Germany's  unification 
jLJL  and  peaceful  progress  had  now  been  apparently  over- 
come. Victories  had  been  obtained  through  iron  and 
blood  for  the  repossession  and  retention  of  territory ;  but 
during  the  debates  ui)on  the  King's  address  and  the  annex- 
ation act,  evidences  were  not  wanting  to  show  that  some 
secret  force,  and,  as  afterward  appeared,  the  same  force 
which  had  been  in  operation  in  Germany  for  centuries, 
was  again  at  work,  but  under  a  new  guise. 

As  we  have  repeatedly  shown,  the  supremacy  of  Prot- 
estant Prussia  in  Germany  was  exceedingly  distasteful  to 
the  Roman  hierarchy.  The  fact  that  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church  was  recognized  in  Prussia  as  a  legal  institution, 
that  it  stood  in  every  respect  upon  an  equal  footing  with 
the  Protestant  Church,  that  its  schools  and  universities 
were  supported  by  the  State  the  same  as  those  of  the  Prot- 
estants, and  that  religious  instruction  was  given  to  Catholic 
children  by  Catholic  priests  paid  out  of  the  general  fund, 
did  not  seem  to  count  a  penny's  weight  against  the  demands 
of  the  ecclesiastical  hierarchy.  These  demands  were  noth- 
ing short  of  the  absolute  control  of  the  educational  insti- 
tutions of  the  country.  But  Prince  Bismarck,  supported 
by  the  King,  stood  like  a  rock  against  these  assumptions ; 
and,  being  aware  of  the  ultramontane  efforts  in  the  differ- 
ent parts  of  Germany  in  furtherance  of  this  pet  scheme, 
of  the  efforts  of  the  Jesuits  to  stir  up  dissatisfaction  against 
the  imperial  government  and  opposition  to  the  proposed 



unification  of  the  whole  of  Gennany,  and,  also,  that  the 
pulpit  was  prostituted  for  political  agitation,  at  the  meet- 
ing of  the  National  Diet  in  1872  he  was  not  able  to  repress 
his  indignation  when  Dr.  Windhorst,  the  spokesman  of 
the  Ultramontane  party,  complained  of  the  loss  of  Catholic 
power  and  influence  m  matters  of  educational  moment. 

Springing  to  his  feet,  in  a  ringing  speech  he  adminis- 
tered the  following  well-directed  rebuke: 

"  When  I  returned  from  France  to  devote  myself  to 
home  affairs,"  said  he,  'Hhe  Clerical  or  Centre  party,  which 
had  just  been  formed,  seemed  to  me  a  party  whose  policy 
was  directed  against  the  predominance  and  unity  of  the 
State.  I  will  not  conceal  from  vou  that  the  Government 
had  hoped  to  rely  upon  the  assistance  of  the  orthodox 
element  in  the  people.  I  thought  it  had  a  right  to  expect 
that  they,  above  all,  would  render  unto  Caesar  the  things 
that  are  Caesar's.  Instead  of  this  we  find  ourselves  svstem- 
atically  withstood  in  the  South,  and  most  violently  at- 
tacked in  the  papers  and  in  speeches  destined  for  the  in- 
struction of  the  lower  classes.  This  conduct  is  the  more 
extraordinary  inasmuch  as  the  Pope  and  the  Prussian 
bishops  of  the  Catholic  Church  have  repeatedly  acknowl- 
edged the  perfect  liberty  their  co-religionists  enjoy  under 
our  institutions.  In  their  downright  hostility,  therefore, 
the  Ultramontane  party  can  not  be  actuated  by  dissatis- 
faction at  the  position  the  Catholic  Church  holds,  and  in- 
deed has  long  held  among  us.  Unfortunately,  we  are  at 
no  loss  to  account  for  their  motives.  When  we  find  this 
party  leaguing  with  Radicals  of  every  shade  of  persuasion 
— when  we  find  them  acting  in  concert  with  men  whose 
extreme  politics  make  them  avowed  enemies  of  the  Prus- 
sian Constitutional  Monarchy  and  of  the  German  Imperial 


Commonwealth  —  we  need  not  wonder  at  their  drif tmg 
into  peraistent  op|X)sition,  and  placing  us  in  the  painful 
position  in  which  we  now  stand  with  regard  to  them." 

This  speech  had  the  effect  of  an  immediate  declai*ation 
of  war  against  clerical  assumption  in  Germany,  and  was 
followed  by  the  introciuction  of  a  School  Inspection  bill,  by 
which  the  supervision  of  all  educational  institutions  were 
intrusted  to  the  State.  After  a  long  and  acrimonious 
debate,  in  which  Windhorst  and  Bismarck  were  the  prin- 
cipal champions,  the  bill  passed  with  the  small  majority 
of  197  against  171  votes. 

In  the  Upper  House,  the  debates  upon  this  bill  elicit- 
ed very  damaging  facts  against  Windhorst  and  the 
clerical  party.  Among  the  many  compromising  documents 
read  by  Bismarck,  the  following  dispatch  from  an  Im- 
perial representative  abroad  created  the  greatest  indig- 
nation : 

"  The  revenge,"  it  said, "  for  which  people  are  panting  in 
France  is  being  prepared  for  by  getting  up  religious  trou- 
bles in  Germany.  It  is  intended  to  cripple  German  unity 
by  denominational  discord,  for  which  pui*pose  the  whole 
of  the  clergy  are  to  be  utilized  under  immediate  orders 
from  Eome.  In  connection  with  the  overthrow  of  Ger- 
man power,  the  Pope  hopes  to  be  able  to  reestablish  his 
secular  power  in  Italy." 

Eeferring  to  this  dispatch,  Prince  Bismarck  said:  "Need 
I  point  out  who  our  enemies  are?  While  two  Catholic 
Powers  existed  on  our  borders,  each  supposed  to  be  strong- 
er than  Prussia,  and  more  or  less  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Catholic  Church,  we  were  allowed  to  live  in  peace  and  quiet. 
Things  changed  after  our  victory  of  1866,  and  the  conse- 
quent ascendancy  of  the  Protestant  dynasty  of  Hohenzol- 

450  EMPEBOB  William's  eoolesiastical  wab. 

lern.  And  now  that  another  Catholic  Power  has  gone  the 
same  way,  and  we  have  acquired  a  might,  which,  with 
God's  help,  we  mean  to  keep,  our  opponents  are  more 
embittered  than  ever,  and  make  ns  the  butt  of  their  con- 
stant attacks." 

This  plain  language  of  the  German  Chancellor  exas- 
perated Windhorst  and  the  Catholic  Party  beyond  meas- 
ure. The  conflict  had,  however,  but  just  begun,  and  the 
expose  of  this  ecclesiastical  duplicity  formed  one  of  the 
principal  grounds  of  justification  for  most  of  the  anti- 
clerical laws  that  were  in  course  of  preparation. 

Another  event  occurred,  just  at  this  time,  which  aggra- 
vated the  situation,  and  widened  the  breach  between  Ger- 
many and  the  Vatican. 

It  was  the  latter's  rejection  of  Cardinal  Hohenlohe,  who 
had  been  appointed  by  the  Emperor  as  ambassador  to  Rome, 
upon  the  pretense  that  the  Cardinal  was  an  opponent  of 
the  Pope's  infallibility  dogma.  This  inimical  action  of  the 
Vatican  was  resented  by  Prince  Bismarck,  in  a  speech 
before  the  Reichstag,  May  14,  in  which  he  severely  criti- 
cised this  extraordinary  proceeding  of  the  Pope,  taking  the 
ground  that  he  should  always  reject  any  treaty  with  Rome, 
in  which  the  Papacy  might  claim  that  certain  state  laws 
should  not  be  binding  upon  a  portion  of  the  subjects  of  the 
Empire.  The  most  animated  discussion,  however,  in 
reference  to  this  Ultramontane  controversy,  took  place  in 
the  Reichstag  upon  the  introduction  of  the  bill  for  the 
expulsion  of  the  Jesuits  from  Germany.  The  bill  was 
passed,  however,  and  after  having  been  signed  by  the 
Emperor,  it  was  promulgated  on  July  4, 1872.  It  read  as 

"  We,  William,  by  the  grace  of  God,  Emperor  of  Ger- 

EMPEKOR  William's  ecclesiastical  war.  461 

many,  King  of  Prussia,  etc.,  in  the  name  of  the  German 
Empire,  with  the  assent  of  the  Federal  Council,  and  of  the 
Parliament,  ordain  as  follows :  I.  The  Order  of  the  Society 
of  Jesus,  as  well  as  the  monastic  orders  of  Congregations 
affiliated  to  the  said  Society,  are  excluded  from  the  terri- 
tory of  the  German  Empire.  The  creation  of  establish- 
ments by  them  is  forbidden.  Establishments  of  theirs  at 
present  existing  shall  be  suppressed  within  a  period  to  be 
settled  by  the  Federal  Council,  but  not  later  than  six 
months.  II.  The  members  of  the  Order  of  the  Society  of 
Jesus  or  of  Orders  and  Congregations  aflBliated,  may,  if 
aliens,  be  expelled  from  the  territory  of  the  Confederation. 
If  they  are  natives,  their^residence  in  certain  districts,  or 
certain  places,  may  be  forbidden  or  prescribed  to  them. 
III.  The  Federal  Council  will  take  the  measures  necessary 
for  securing  the  execution  of  this  law.  In  faith  of  which 
we  have  set  our  hand  and  seal  Imperial." 

The  justice  of  this  act  was  not  questioned  by  aiTy  but 
the  most  extreme  Ultramontanes.  When,  however,  it  is 
considered  that  under  the  influence  and  perseverance  of 
the  Society  of  Jesus,  the  number  of  convents  in  Prus- 
sia had  increased  from  69  in  1855  to  826  in  1869,  with 
8,319  inmates — Pius  IX.,  himself  being  compelled  thirty 
years  before  to  expel  the  Jesuits  from  Rome — the  Pope's 
displeasure  at  this  act  of  the  Emperor  lacked  every  ele- 
ment of  consistency.  His  denunciatory  epistles  of  the 
measure,  sent  to  the  priests  throughout  Germany  created 
a  spirit  of  antagonism  against  the  constituted  authorities, 
bordering  upon  insubordination.  This  ecclesiastical  re- 
volt against  the  liberalizing  tendencies  of  the  Imperial 
Government  took  the  form  of  organization  in  the  consol- 
idation of  all  Catholic  societies  into  the  ^^  Catholic  Union 

452  EMPEROR  William's  eoglesiastigal  war. 

at  Fulda,"  in  the  following  September — the  place  of  the 
monastery  and  school  founded  by  Winfried  in  750  a. 
D.  There  it  was  boldly  declared  that  canon  laws  were 
more  binding  upon  the  citizens  than  those  enacted  by 
legislative  assemblies,  and  that  the  Church  was  rightfully 
supreme  in  educational  affairs  and  in  marriage  contracts. 
W  hile  the  clerical  party — which,  oddly  enough,  was  sup- 
ported by  the  socialists— was  thus  engaged  in  attempting 
to  rejuvenate  the  theories  of  the  dark  ages,  the  reputed 
"  despotic  "  government  of  King  William  of  Prussia  sub- 
mitted a  bill  to  the  Prussian  House,  conferring  upon  the 
people  of  towns  and  villages  the  blessings  of  local  self- 
government.  The  adoption  of  this  measure  at  a  time  of 
great  reactionary  activity,  and  in  spite  of  the  nobility  and 
landed  aristocracy,  formed  an  epoch  in  the  life  of  the 
German  people  and  one  of  the  brightest  pages  in  the 
history  of  these  two  remarkable  men,  Emperor  William  I. 
and  Premier  Bismarck.  The  Kultur-Kampf  (Ecclesiastical 
War)  had  now  assmned  serious  proportions  in  Germany. 
It  was  the  old  question  of  the  Franconian  and  Hohen- 
staufen  right  of  rule  in  their  own  domain.  It  appeared 
that  the  question,  whether  Emperor  William  or  Pius  IX. 
was  henceforth  to  rule  Germany,  could  not  long  remain 
unanswered.  Accordingly,  in  January,  1873,  Dr.  Falk, 
the  minister  of  education,  introduced  into  the  German 
Diet  four  very  important  bills,  the  main  features  of 
which  were,  "freedom  of  religion,"  "  State  protection  to 
the  dergy  against  arbitrary  acts  of  their  superiors,  and 
the  requirement,  that  henceforth,  all  candidates  for  the 
priesthood  must  attend  a  State — ^that  is,  lay-university." 
These  acts  produced  the  greatest  consternation  in  the 
ranks  of  the  clerical  party.    The  Catholic  bishops  entered 

EMPEROR  William's,  ecclesiastical  war.  453 

a  solemn  protest  against  their  enforcement,  and  resolved 
upon  their  resistance,  whereupon  the  State  instituted 
criminal  proceedings  against  a  number  of  the  most  recal- 
citrant  bishops.  These  trials  resulted  in  the  conviction 
of  Archbishop  Ledochowski,  and  the  imposing  of  a  sen- 
tence of  four  months'  imprisonment  upon  his  Grace.  Thus 
far,  the  conflict  between  Church  and  State  had  been 
waged  between  the  representatives  of  the  Vatican  and  the 
Imperial  Government.  But  now  Pope  and  Emperor 
appeared  upon  the  scene  of  action. 

On  the  7th  of  August,  1873,  his  Holiness  Avrote  to  the 
Emperor  that,  having  heard  the  harsh  measures  adopted 
by  the  German  government  against  the  Catholic  clergy 
had  not  yet  been  approved  by  him,  he  desired  to  warn 
him  of  the  danger  threatening  the  Empire  in  case  they 
should  be  carried  into  execution.  "  I  speak  with  frank- 
ness," said  Pius  IX.,  "  for  my  banner  is  truth.  I  speak  in 
order  to  fulfill  one  of  my  duties,  which  consists  in  telling 
the  truth  to  all,  even  to  those  who  are  not  Catholics;  for 
everyone  who  has  been  baptized  belongs,  in  some  way  or 
other — which  to  define  would  be  here  out  of  place — be- 
longs, I  say,  to  the  Pope." 

On  the  3d  of  September,  nearly  one  month  after  the 
receipt  of  the  above,  Emperor  William  transmitted  to  the 
Pope  the  following  reply : 

"  I  am  glad  your  Holiness  has,  as  in  former  times,  done 
me  the  honor  to  write  to  me.  I  rejoice  the  more  at  this 
since  an  opportunity  is  thereby  afforded  me  of  correcting 
errors  which,  as  appears  from  the  contents  of  your  letter, 
must  have  occurred  in  the  communications  you  have 
received  relative  to  German  affairs. 

"  To  my  deep  sorrow,  a  portion  of  my  Catholic  sub- 

454  EMPEROR  William's  ecclesiastical  war. 

jects  have  organized,  for  the  past  two  years,  a  political 
party  which  is  endeavoring  to  disturb,  by  intrigues  hostile 
to  the  State,  the  religious  peace  which  hasexisted  in  Prus- 
sia for  centuries.  Leading  Catholic  priests  have  unfortu- 
nately not  only  approved  this  movement,  but  joined  in  it 
to  the  extent  of  open  revolt  against  existing  laws 

"  It  will  not  have  escaped  the  observation  of  your 
Holiness  that  similar  indications  manifest  themselves  at 
the  present  time  in  several  European  and  some  Trans- 
Atlantic  States.  It  is  not  my  mission  to  investigate  the 
causes  by  which  tlie  clergy  and  the  faithful  of  one  of  the 
Christian  denominations  can  be  induced  actively  to  assist 
the  enemies  of  all  law;  but  it  certainly  is  my  mission  to 
protect  internal  peace,  and  preserve  the  authority  of  the 
laws  in  the  States  whose  government  has  been  intrusted 
to  me  by  God.  I  shall  maintain  order  and  law  in  my 
States  against  all  attacks  as  long  as  God  gives  me  the 
power;  I  am  in  duty  bound  to  do  it  as  a  Christian  mon- 
arch, even  when  to  my  sorrow  I  have  to  fulfill  this  royal 
duty  against  servants  of  a  church  which  I  suppose  ac- 
knowledges no  less  than  the  Evangelical  Church,  that  the 
commandment  of  obedience  to  secular  authority  is  an 
emanation  of  the  revealed  will  of  God.  Many  of  the 
priests  in  Prussia  subject  to  your  Holiness  disown,  to  my 
regret,  the  Christian  doctrine  in  this  respect,  and  place 
my  government  under  the  necessity,  supported  by  the 
great  majority  of  my  loyal  Catholic  and  Evangelical 
subjects,  of  extorting  obedience  to  the  law  by  worldly 

"I  willingly  entertain  the  hope  that  your  Holiness, 
upon  being  informed  of  the  true  position  of  affairs,  will 
use  your  authority  to  put  an  end  to  the  agitation  carried 

£MP£ROR  William's  ecclesla-stical  war.  455 

on  amid  deplorable  distortion  of  the  truth  and  abuse  of 
priestly  authority.  The  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  has,  as  I 
attest  to  your  Holiness  before  God,  nothing  to  do  with 
these  intrigues,  any  more  than  has  truth,  to  whose  ban- 
ner, invoked  by  your  Holiness,  I  unreservedly  subscribe. 
There  is  one  more  expression  in  the  letter  of  your  Holi- 
ness which  I  can  not  pass  over  without  contradiction, 
although  it  is  not  based  upon  the  previous  information, 
but  upon  the  belief  of  your  Holiness — namely ^  the  expres- 
sion that  every  one  who  has  received  baptism  belongs  to 
the  Pope.  The  Evangelical  creed,  which,  as  must  be 
known  to  your  Holiness,  I,  like  my  ancestors  and  the  ma- 
jority of  my  subjects,  profess,  does  not  permit  us  to  ac- 
cept in  our  relations  to  God  any  other  mediator  than  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ.  This  difference  of  belief  does  not 
prevent  me  from  living  in  peace  with  those  who  do  not 
share  mine,  and  I  offer  your  Holiness  the  expression  of  my 
personal  devotion  and  esteem." 

The  publication  of  this  letter  was  received  with  demon- 
strations of  approval  by  a  majority  of  the  people  of  Ger- 

On  the  7th  of  December  the  Emperor,  as  King  of 
Prussia,  issued  a  decree,  making  it  obligatory  upon  the 
bishops  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  King  before 
assuming  their  functions.  This  unfortunate  conflict  be- 
tween State  and  Church  continued  to  prevail  with  greater 
or  less  severity  until  1882,  when,  from  some  cause  not  yet 
explained,  Bismarck  appeared  to  wish  to  be  upon  more 
amicable  terms  with  Rome,  and  when  Herr  Windhorst 
brought  in  a  bill  for  the  repeal  of  the  law  prohibiting  the 
exercise  of  clerical  functions  without  the  sanction  of  the 
State,  Bismarck  did  not  oppose  the  motion,  and  it  was 

456  EMPEROR  William's  ecclesiastical  war. 

concurred  in.  Another  bill,  in  substance  aJlovving  foreign 
priests  to  officiate  in  Grermany,  was  also  favorably  acted 
upon,  and  further,  in  order  to  naiTOw  the  chasm  between 
Germany  and  the  Holy  See,  90,000  marks,  about  $20,000, 
were  appropriated  to  defray  the  expense  of  a  Prussian 
Catholic  representative  to  the  Vatican. 

Later  on,  the  anti-clerical  enactments,  knoAvn  as  the 
May  laws,  were  almost  wholly  repealed,  and  this  circum- 
stance is  often  quoted  by  the  adversaries  of  the  Chan- 
cellor in  support  of  the  charge  that  he  had  made  a  "  trip  to 
Canossa."  This  charge  however,  when  calmly  and  im- 
partially investigated,  is  found  to  be  without  foundation 
in  fact. 

The  object  of  Prince  Bismarck  in  not  having  his  State 
policy  in  reference  to  the  annexation  of  Alsace  and  Lorraine 
and  other  political  measures  any  longer  interfered  with 
by  ecclesiastical  intrigues  had  been  accomplished.  The 
Pope  himself  having  mildly  rebuked  Mr.  Windhorst  for 
his  over-officious  zeal  in  mattere  not  strictly  ecclesiastical, 
the  provisions  of  the  May  laws  had  become  superfluous. 
The  principal  point,  however,  that  is,  the  control  over  the 
appointment  of  candidates  to  clerical  positions  in  Prussia, 
has  never  been  relinquished  by  Prince  Bismarck. 

That  the  relations  of  Prince  Bismarck  and  the  present 
Pope  are  of  the  most  amicable  nature,  the  fact  that  the 
settlement  of  the  Caroline  Islands  difficulty  in  1886  was 
placed  in  his  Holiness'  hands  by  Bismarck,  is  ample  evi- 
dence. Upon  the  peaceable  conclusion  of  the  m^^tter,  the 
Pontiff  sent  the  Prince  the  decoration  of  the  "Order  of 
Christ."  Upon  the  receipt  of  the  diamond  cross,  Bis- 
marck replied :  "As  your  Holiness  has  expressed  it,  the 
Eomish  pontificate  could  not  be  better  fitted  than  for  just 


80CIAU8TIC  WAB.  457 

such  mediatory  services  in  the  peaceful  settlement  of  diffi- 
culties between  nations  as  that  just  performed  between 
Germany  and  Spain,  and  for  this  very  reason  I  had  called 
upon  your  Holiness  for  interposition.  Tiie  fact  that  the 
attitude  of  the  two  countries  toward  your  Holiness  in  mat- 
ters of  religion  was  not  the  same  never  weakened  my 
confidence  in  your  impartiality.  The  relations  between 
Germany  and  Spain  are  such  that  the  existing  feeling  of 
friendliness  could  not  lastingly  be  disturbed,  and  I  was, 
therefore,  most  confident  that  the  work  of  your  Holiness 
would  secure  permanent  friendly  relations  between  us." 

In  conclusion,  BismarcTc  assures  the  Pope  that  he  would 
embrace  every  opportunity  to  show  the  gratitude  his  kind 
offices  have  earned  for  him  when  not  inconsistent  with 
his  duty  to  his  master  and  country. 


The  next  question  that  appeared  to  agitate  the  Impe- 
rial parliament  was  the  repressive  measures  required 
against  the  Socialists.  This  question  greatly  embittered 
the  declining  yeai's  of  Emperor  William's  life.  The  sit- 
uation was  fraught  with  many  perplexities;  although 
painfully  conscious  of  the  many  hardships  to  which  the 
laboring  classes  were  subjected,  peace  and  good  order 
compelled  him  to  sanction  with  his  signature,  the  anti-so- 
cialistic laws  adopted  by  the  German  Diet.  But  the  sen 
timents  of  his  heart  were  expressed  when,  in  a  rescript  to 
the  Eeichstag,  he  said:  "I  deem  it  one  of  the  first  duties 
of  the  Emperor  to  turn  his  attention  and  direct  his  care 
to  the  improvement  of  the  condition  of  the  laboring 
classes,"  and  later  on  insisted,  "  that  legislation  upon  this 
question  should  not  be  limited  to  police  and  penal  meas- 


ures,  but  should  be  directed  to  the  removal  of  the  causes 
of  oppression  in  the  realm." 

The  socialistic  propaganda,  headed  by  Karl  Marx 
and  Ferdinand  La  Salle,  had  developed  into  a  political 
power  before  the  establishment  of  the  Empire,  and  the 
liumanitarian  intentions  of  the  Emperor  had  little  effect 
upon  the  progress  of  the  anarchist  wing  of  the  party.  So 
zealous  had  they  become,  that  an  attempt  was  made  upon 
the  Emperor's  life  on  the  28th  day  of  September,  1883,  at 
the  unveiling  of  the  Niederwald  Monument.  The  culprit, 
Reinsdorf,  had  employed  a  man  to  place  a  stone  bottle 
containing  dynamite,  upon  the  road  upon  which  the 
Emperor  was  to  pass.  The  man  employed  did  not  light 
the  match,  and  therefore  the  Emperor's  life  was  saved. 

This  atrocious  act  naturally  hastened  the  reenactment 
of  former  repealed  anti-social  laws,  and  the  adoption  of 
others  more  severe,  and  prolonged  for  two  years  those 
that  were  to  terminate  the  following  September.  On  the 
18th  of  May,  the  famous  "Explosive"  bill  was  passed, 
which  made  the  ordering  of  explosives  with  the  willful 
intent  of  endangering  life  and  property,  as  well  as  the 
delivering  of  inflammatory  speeches,  and  the  publishing  of 
incendiary  pamphlets,  crimes  punishable  with  imprison- 
ment, and  if  followed  with  fatal  results,  punishable  with 

These  laws  seemed  only  to  increase  the  believers,  and 
socialism  had  made  such  headway  in  Germany  in  1884 
that  many  of  the  representatives  of  the  Government  were 
found  to  be  connected  with  either  one  or  the  other  of  the 
various  socialistic  organizations;  as  for  instance,  Bebel, 
Von  VoUraar,  Auer,  Frohme,  Dietz,  Viereck,  Ulrich,  and 
others — ^the   first    five  being  members  of  the  German 


Reichstag,  the  other  two  journalists  were  indicted  upon 
the  charge  of  having  taken  part  in  the  socialistic  con- 
gress held  in  Copenhagen  from  March  29  to  April  2, 
1883,  and,  also,  at  the  Chateau  Wayden,  Switzerland,  in 
August,  1880.  The  proofs  against  them  were  the  minutes 
of  the  meetings,  in  the  hands  of  the  prosecuting  attorney, 
and  numerous  articles  published  in  the  Social  Deniokrat 
of  Switzerland.  The  indictment  went  on  to  say  that 
there  existed  in  Germany  a  social-democratic  organization, 
the  members  of  which  were  punishable  under  the  criminal 
code;  that  the  resolutions  passed  at  the  two  congresses 
favoring  a  firmer  organization,  the  collection  of  a  fund 
for  agitation  and  publication,  and,  also,  for  the  support  of 
the  victims  of  the  law  against  socialism,  were  all  offenses 
indictable  under  this  provision  of  the  code;  that  the 
Social  Dmwkrai  recommended  secrecy,  and  that  the 
language  ^^the  infamous  law  against  socialists  in  Germany 
compels  us  to  hold  our  meetings  upon  foreign  soil,  and 
because  the  detectives  are  wide-awake  we  recommend  to 
you  extreme  caution,''  is  against  the  laws;  that  there  were 
sixty  delegates  present,  most  of  whom  were  registered 
under  false  names  at  the  hotels ;  that  their  participation 
in  this  unlawful  movement  is  established,  as  well  as  their 
intention  to  consolidate  the  organization  and  to  promote 
the  principles  of  socialism  in  Germany,  all  of  which  is 
contrary  to  the  paragraphs  of  the  criminal  code  referred 

Thus,  were  laws  enacted  and  executed  against  the 
right  of  the  citizen  to  assemble  and  the  most  obnoxious 
press-laws — which  laws  have  retarded  the  intellectual  and 
political  progress  of  Germany  for  a  century — the  fruits 
of  the  insane  ravings  of   a    handful  of    crack-brained 

460  flociALisno  wab. 

theorists  in  this  endeavor  to  annihilate  individual 
genius,  thrift  and  enterprise,  and  to  merge  the  country 
into  the  communistic  despotism,  called  "  The  State." 

One  of  the  most  extraordinary  acts  of  the  Prussian 
Government  under  William  as  King  of  Prussia,  was  the 
expulsion  of  35,000  Poles  from  Prussian  soil — many  of 
them  landed  proprietors  and  thrifty  artisans,  ruthlessly 
driven  from  their  homes.  The  subject  having  been 
brought  before  the  German  Parliament,  Prince  Bismarck 
took  tlie  ground  that  Prussia's  local  legislation  was  not 
subject  to  confederate  control.  The  only  explanation  the 
Government  deigned  to  give  was  that  these  expulsions 
were  the  simple  execution  of  Prussian  police  regulations. 
During  this  same  session  the  Ultramontanes,  supported 
by  the  Socialists,  introduced  a  Sunday  law.  In  opposi- 
tion, Prince  Bismarck  delivered  one  of  his  characteristic 
speeches.  He  emphatically  denied  the  proposition  that 
workmen  would  be  benefited  by  such  a  law,  or  that 
the  industrial  prosperity  of  England  and  the  United 
States  was  due  to  the  English  Sabbath.  "  England,"  said 
he, "  would  not  to-day  enjoy  so  great  an  industrial  superi- 
ority over  Germany  if  her  coal  fields  and  her  iron  mines 
were  not  in  close  proximity  to  each  other,  and  if  she  had 
not  enjoyed  the  blessings  of  civilization  long  before  Ger- 
many did.  Even  in  the  time  of  Shakespeare,  about  300 
years  ago,  there 'was  a  degree  of  prosperity,  culture  and 
literary  development  in  England  far  above  what  we  pos- 
sessed at  that  time  in  Germany.  The  Thirty  Tears' 
War  had  a  retrograde  effect  upon  Germany  more  than  on 
any  other  nation.  But  I  can  not  admit  that  Englishmen 
are  better  Christians  than  the  Germans.  If  the  keeping 
of  the  Sunday  had  not  been  from  time  immemorial  an 


English  custom,  I  doubt  very  much  if  any  Government 
or  Parliament  would  now  be  strong  enough  to  make  it 
compulsory.  For  my  own  part,  however,  the  English 
Sunday  has  always  produced  an  unpleasant  impression 
upon  me;  I  was  glad  when  it  was  over,  and,  judgino; 
by  the  way  the  Sunday  was  passed  in  England,  I  think 
that  Englishmen  were  so,  too.  Here,  in  our  villages,  we 
are  glad  to  see  the  people  enjoying  themselves  in  their 
Sunday  best,  and  we  thank  God  that  we  are  not  undei 
the  compulsion  of  the  English  Sunday.  Some  forty 
years  ago  I  went  to  England  for  the  first  time,  and  I  was 
so  glad  to  land,  after  a  bad  passage,  that  I  whistled 
a  tune.  *  Please  don't  do  that,'  said  a  fellow  passenger. 
*  Why  not? '  I  inquired.    '  Because  it  is  Sunday  ! ' " 

These  bold  expressions  of  Bismarck  were  the  senti- 
ments of  the  majority  of  Germans  —  for  Germans  the 
world  over  are  opposed  to  Sunday  restrictions  —  and 
therefore,  very  naturally,  the  bill  was  defeated. 



IT  IS  not  an  easy  task  to  impartially  judge  the  pergonal 
character  of  a  man  bom  to  occupy  an  exalted  sphere  of 
action,  and  whose  tender  years  were  hedged  about  by  the 
conventional  conditions  of  a  prospective  king ;  a  man,  in 
other  words,  of  whom  little  is  known  that  is  not  intjended 
to  be  known.  But  the  late  Emperor  William  seems  to 
have  been  a  striking  exception  to  the  rule.  Born  with  an 
original  and  sturdy  nature,  his  artificial  training  appears 
not  to  have  destroyed,  but  rather  strengthened,  these  char- 

The  school  of  adversity  in  which  his  early  years  were 
spent— the  loss  of  his  sainted  mother,  coupled  with  the 
ever-present  fear  of  loss  of  ancestral  domain — gave  to  his 
mind  a  peculiarly  devotional  cast,  which  is  clearly  seen  in 
his  after  letters,  and  is  emphasized  in  the  following  pre- 
served paper,  written  at  the  age  of  eighteen,  and  entitled 
his  ''  Precepts  of  Life  " : 

"  With  a  thankful  heart  I  acknowledge  God's  great 
beneficence  in  permitting  that  I  should  be  born  in  an 
exalted  station,  because  thereby  I  am  better  enabled  to 
educate  my  soul  and  heart,  and  am  put  in  possession  of 
copious  means  wherewith  to  build  up  worthiness  in  myself. 
I  rejoice  in  this  station — not  on  account  of  the  distinction 
it  confers  upon  me  amongst  men,  nor  on  account  of  the 
enjoyments  it  places  at  my  disposal,  but  because  it  ena- 
bles me  to  achieve  more  than  others.  In  humility  I 
rejoice  in  my  station,  an^  am  far  from  believing  that  God 

4         4ed 


has  intended,  in  this  respect,  to  put  me  at  an  advantage 
over  my  fellow-men.  I  am  equally  far  from  considering 
myself  better  than  anybody  else  on  account  of  my  exalted 
station.  My  princely  rank  shall  always  serve  to  remind 
me  of  the  greater  obligations  it  imposes  upon  me,  of  the 
greater  efforts  it  requires  me  to  make,  and  of  the  greater 
temptations  to  which  it  exposes  me. 

"  I  will  never  forget  that  a  prince  is  a  man — before 
God,  only  a  man — having  his  origin,  as  weU  as*  all  the 
weaknesses  and  wants  of  human  nature,  in  common  with 
the  humblest  of  the  people;  that  the  laws  prescribed  for 
general  observance  are  also  binding  upon  him ;  and  that 
he,  like  all  the  rest,  will  one  day  be  judged  for  his  behav- 
ior. For  all  good  things  that  may  fall  to  my  share  I  wiU 
look  up  gratefully  to  God;  and  in  all  misfortunes  that 
may  befall  me  I  will  submit  myself  to  God,  in  the  firm 
conviction  that  He  will  always  do  what  is  best  for  me. 
I  know  what,  as  man  and  prince  alike,  my  duty  is  to  true 
honor.  I  will  never  seek  honor  to  myself  in  things  illu- 
sory. My  capacities  belong  to  the  world  and  to  my  fath- 
erland. I  will  therefore  work  unintermittently  within 
the  circle  of  activity  prescribed  to  me,  make  the  best  use 
of  my  time,  and  do  as  much  good  as  it  may  be  in  my 
power  to  do. 

^^  I  will  maintain  and  keep  alive  within  me  a  sincere  and 
hearty  good  will  toward  all  men,  even,  the  most  insignifi- 
cant —  for  they  are  all  my  brethren.  I  will  not  domineer 
over  anybody  in  virtue  of  my  princely  dignitv,  nor  bring  to 
bear  upon  any  one  the  pressure  of  my  princely  prestige. 
When  compelled  to  require  any  service  at  the  hands  of 
others,  I  will  do  so  in  a  courteous  and  friendly  manner, 
endeavoring,  as  far  as  in  me  lies,  to  render  the  fulfillment 

464  EMPEBOB  WILLIAM   t.  Ad  A  MAK. 

of  their  duties  easy  to  them.  But,  in  accordance  wHh  my 
own  duty,  I  will  do  all  I  can  to  destroy  the  works  of  hy- 
pocrisy and  malignity,  to  bring  to  scorn  whatever  is  wicked 
and  shameful,  and  to  visit  crime  with  its  due  measure  of 
punishment ;  no  feelings  of  compassion  shall  hinder  me 
therefrom.  I  will,  however,  be  careful  not  to  condemn 
the  guiltless ;  on  the  contrary,  for  me  it  shall  ever  be 
a  labor  of  love  to  defend  the  innocent. 

"  To  the  utmost  of  my  ability  I  will  be  a  helper  and 
advocate  of  those  unfortunates  who  may  seek  my  aid,  or 
of  whose  mishaps  I  may  be  informed  —  especially  of  wid- 
ows, orphans,  aged  people,  men  who  have  faithfully  served 
the  State,  and  those  whom  such  men  may  have  left  behind 
them  in  poverty.  Never  will  I  forget  the  good  that  has 
been  done  to  me  by  my  fellow-men.  Throughout  my 
whole  life  I  will  continue  to  value  those  who  have  ren- 
dered me  service. 

"  For  the  King,  my  father,  I  entertain  a  respectful  and 
tender  affection.  To  live  in  such  sort  that  I  may  be  a  joy 
to  him  will  be  my  utmost  endeavor.  I  yield  the  most 
punctilious  obedience  to  his  commands.  And  I  entirely 
submit  myself  to  the  laws  and  constitution  of  the  State. 
I  will  perform  my  service — duties — ^with  absolute  exacti- 
tude, and  whilst  assiduously  keeping  my  subordinates  to 
their  duty,  will  treat  them  amicably  and  kindly." 

The  heroic  period  of  his  youth,  also,  offered  a  superior 
school  for  the  growth  of  his  manly  qualities,  a  school 
which  has  been  opened  to  few  men  since  the  days  of  Char- 
lemagne and  Barbarossa.  The  death  straggle  of  the 
nations  of  Europe,  to  maintain  their  integrity  and  inde- 
pendence against  the  overreaching  ambition  of  a  military 
genius  of  which  the  world  has  produced  no  equal,  the 


waves  upon  waves  of  armed  men  rolling  over  half  a  con- 
tinent and  by  the  tide  of  events  rolled  back  again,  the 
roar  of  the  modern  machinery  of  destruction,  the  gigantic 
minds  met  in  deadly  combat  to  retain  all  that  a  man  holds 
dear  in  life,  principles,  home  and  country  —  these  were 
the  events  which  daily  engrossed  his  attention. 

The  earnest  activity  and  sterling  qualities  of  such  men 
as  Stein,  Scharnhorst  and  Blticher,  who  had  been  charged 
with  the  preservation  of  the  State,  could  but  leave  a  last- 
ing impress  upon  his  young  and  plastic  mind.  He  came 
early  to  understand  that  a  life  of  leisure  and  luxury  had 
its  demoralizing  and  enervating  effect  upon  both  body  and 
mind,  and  holding  to  the  precept  of  his  ancestor,  Fred- 
erick the  Great,  ^'that  he  belonged  to  the  State  rather 
than  the  State  to  him,"  he  deemed  it  his  duty  to  foster 
and  preserve  the  physical  vigor  and  moral  strength 
required  of  one  destined  to  his  high  and  exalted  position. 

Accordingly,  we  read  that  his  daily  habits  were  those 
of  a  man  with  a  purpose  in  life. 

He  had  little  taste  for  the  levities  and  follies  of  court 
ways,  spending  fourteen  out  of  his  twenty-four  hours  in 
the  various  tasks  of  his  great  office ;  and  it  is  related  of 
him  that,  believing  himself  called  upon  to  serve  as  an 
example  to  his  army,  of  order  and  readiness  for  action, 
he  was  always  dressed  in  his  uniform  and  military  boots, 
or,  until  the  later  years  of  his  life,  when,  under  the  advice 
of  his  ph  slcian,  he  exchanged  his  heavy  military  trappings 
for  the  lighter  official  garb. 

In  order  to  show  the  discipline  to  which  he  had  sub- 
jected himself  for  almost  eighty  years,  the  following  de- 
tails of  his  daily  habits  for  the  last  few  months  of  his  life 
are  here  given : 


At  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  a  valet  entered  the 
Emperor's  bedroom  with  a  small  cup  of  tea,  which  he 
drank  before  rising.  In  former  times  it  had  been  his  cus- 
tom to  rise  when  he  felt  that  he  had  slept  enough,  and  to 
go  at  once  to  his  dressing-room;  but  of  late  he  had  made 
it  his  habit  to  lie  in  bed  for  an  hour  and  a  half  after 
waking.  At  half  past  eight  he  arose,  and  with  very  little 
assistance  dressed  himself.  He  had  three  personal  serv- 
ants, who  took  turns  in  waiting  upon  him  for  twenty-four 
hours  at  a  time.  These  were  his  wardrobe  man,  Engel,  and 
his  two  valets,  Ukermaker  and  Krause.  At  nine  the  Em- 
peror went  to  his  library,  where  he  breakfasted,  usually 
on  tea  and  toast.  On  Tuesdays  and  Fridays,  however, 
breakfast  was  served  about  twenty  minutes  earlier  than 
usual,  and  by  nine  o'clock  he  was  in  his  study,  where  he 
received  the  report  of  the  president  of  police.  On  other 
days,  the  Emperor  did  not  begin  work  until  twenty  minutes 
after  nine.  His  first  business  was  to  open  letters  and  sign 
documents.  Punctually  at  ten  Herr  von  Wilmowski,  the 
chief  of  the  civil  cabinet,  arrived  for  a  brief  interview, 
and  from  that  hour  audiences  succeeded  audiences  until 
half  past  twelve,  when  he  took  his  second  breakfast.  This 
consisted  invariably  of  a  basin  of  plain  soup  and  some 
meat  of  an  easily  digestible  kind.  The  menu  for  break- 
fast and  dinner  was  drawn  up  by  a  physician  in  consulta- 
tion with  the  cook,  and  then  submitted  to  the  Emperor, 
who  generally  made  some  slight  alterations;  but  there  is  no 
foundation  for  the  stories  that  have  been  told  of  his  inor- 
dinate fondness  for  hot  boiled  lobsters  and  crabs.  The 
doctors  had  ordered  the  Emperor  to  drink  a  glass  of  good 
old  Bordeaux  with  his  breakfast  as  well  as  with  dinner; 
but  he  cared  little  for  wine  and  generally  deluged  his  Bor- 


deaux  with  the  national  Selzer  water.  When  the  guards 
of  the  palace  were  relieved,  the  Emperor  seldom  failed  to 
appear  at  the  well-known  window  to  return  the  saluta- 
tions of  the  crowd  which  was  always  assembled  without. 
After  the  second  breakfast  there  were  more  audiences 
and  interviews,  until  it  was  time  for  the  daily  drive.  He 
usually  returned  about  3  o'clock  and  at  once  resumed 
work.  Between  three  and  five  the  higher  officials  of  the 
Emperor  had  audience  and  at  five  dinner  was  announced. 
It  lasted  an  hour,  and  immediately  afterward  the  Emperor 
went  back  to  his  study,  when  for  an  hour  he  read  the 
newspapers  of  the  day  or  had  passages  from  them  read 
to  him.  At  seven  he  ordered  his  carriage,  and,  if  he  had 
nothing  more  important  to  do,  went  either  to  the  theater 
or  to  the  opera.  Ke  always  had  been  a  great  lover  of  the 
drama,  and  was  very  unwilling  to  allow  anything  to  inter- 
fere with  his  evening  enjoyment  of  it;  yet,  for  many 
years  he  had  made  it  his  rule  never  to  go  to  the  theater 
while  the  body  of  one  of  the  leaders  of  his  armies  or  of 
any  old  political  servant  lay  unburied.  When  the  Em- 
peror returned  from  the  theater,  tea  was  served,  and  some 
time  was  spent  in  social  conversation,  but  at  about  10 
o'clock  he  went  once  more  to  his  study  to  give  attention 
to  any  pressing  matters  that  might  have  come  up  during 
the  day.  After  having  disposed  of  these  he  went  to  his 
room  and  at  11  o'clock  the  valet  of  the  day  left  him,  taking 
away  the  lamp  and  leaving  a  lighted  night-lamp  on  the 
table  by  the  bed-side.  The  Emperor  slept  uncommonly 
well,  and  the  tinkle  of  the  electric  bell  which  rings  in  the 
neighboring  room  in  which  sits  the  valet  on  duty  was 
very  seldom  heard  during  the  night. 

He  was  very  found  of  corn-flowers  and  liked  to  have  a 


vase  of  them  filled  on  his  study  table,  and  he  often  declared 
jocosely,  that  if  there  were  no  corn-flowers,  there  would  be 
no  work  done.  Flowers  for  this  vase  were,  therefore, 
specially  grown  in  a  hot-house  at  Potsdam  all  the  year 
round.  For  making  marginal  notes  upon  public  docu- 
ments, the  Emperor  generally  used  a  very  thick  pencil. 
These  also  were  specially  prepared  for  him ;  but  for  years  he 
used  an  ordinary  carpenter's  pencil,  and  he  only  relin- 
quished it  when  it  was  represented  to  him  that  the  softness 
of  the  lead  caused  his  writing  to  smear  and  become  illegible. 
Emperor  William  never  smoked  nor  took  snuff,  and  any 
spare  moments  that  were  at  his  disposal  during  the  day, 
were  spent  with  the  Empress,  in  whose  presence  he  was 
always  most  punctilious  and  attentive.  At  the  time  of 
the  attempted  assassination  by  Noebling,  in  1878,  the 
Empress  was  in  very  bad  health,  and  she  was  una6le  to  go 
to  her  husband's  room  until  some  days  after  the  event. 
At  last  she  dragged  herself  down  stairs  to  his  apartment, 
ejaculating  ^'how  happy  I  shall  be  to  see  you  again!" 
The  Emperor,  whose  room  was  full  of  officers,  and  whose 
door  was  open,  heard  her,  and  laughingly  shouted,  "Well, 
come  along,  wife ;  coiiie  along !"  And  when  the  Empress 
appeared,  both  burst  into  tears.  The  Emperor  had  very  sim- 
ple, suave  manners,  but  he  was  not  interesting,  and  had  not 
much  conversation.  In  this  respect  he  contrasted  with 
Bismarck,  who  can  be  a  delightful  boon  companion,  because 
he  has  so  much  to  say,  and  says  it  in  such  an  original  way. 
Emperor  William's  countenance  went  a  long  way  in 
giving  charm  to  his  address,  whereas  the  countenance  of 
the  Chancellor  has  often  gleams  of  savage  ferocity,  and 
shows  that  the  cunning  of  a  wild  animal  can  be  united  to 
intellect.    At  different  times,  and  on  noteworthy  occasions 


both  master  and  man  could  be  seen  together.  The  Emp- 
eror was  to  the  observer  much  more  a  puzzle  than  Bis- 
marck. There  were  moments  when  he  struck  one  as  being 
somewhat  the  apparent  hon  homme^  leaving  things  to  Bis- 
marck with  a  private  intent  to  do  as  he  pleased.  He  liked 
to  be  on  good  terms  with  Providence,  to  be  true  to  his  princi- 
ples, and  to  set  a  good  moral  as  well  as  military  example 
to  his  armed  nation. 

Taking  all  in  all.  Emperor  William  was  the  finest 
specimen  of  the  old  gentleman  that  could  be  imagined. 
If  he  lived  in  soldiers'  uniform  from  the  age  of  seven  to 
ninety-one,  and  was  a  strict  disciplinarian  to  himself,  he 
was  free  from  buckram  and  pipe-clay.  His  smile  was 

The  Emperor  let  the  ladies  of  his  family  be  as  exact- 
ing as  they  pleased,  except  in  military  affairs  or  politics. 
Nor  would  he  have  minded  their  interfering  with  the 
latter  if  Bismarck  had  not  stood  out  against  the  ^'  petti- 
coat camarilla." 

William  remembered  his  mother's  virtual  Kingship 
of  Prussia — to  its  advantage.  Then  he  rather  enjoyed 
yielding  to  female  despotism.  His  weakness  in  this 
respect  made  the  Chancellor  wage  a  relentless  war  on 
the  Empress  and  her  tea-party  cronies.  The  "  Victorias  " 
were  his  pet  animosities. 

Though  not  miserly,  the  Emperor  loved  thrift  and 
plain  living.  What  he  spent  on  himself  was  trifling.  His 
household  w^as  kept  up  on  the  economical  lines  dear  to  his 
ancestors.  The  Crown  Prince's  income  was  small.  The 
Empress  had  often  to  make  the  birthday  gifts  she  wanted 
to  present  to  friends  and  relatives,  ter  private  purse  was 
so  slender.    So  had  the  Crown  Princess.    She  gave  pict- 


ures  of  her  own  painting.  Her  mother-in-law  gave  stand- 
ard works  in  which  were  bound  blank  sheets  filled  up  by 
her  with  autograph  annotations.  The  Emperor  thus  grew 
comparatively  wealthy.  When  Prince  of  Prussia  he  was 
fond  of  romping  games  and  practical  jokes  in  the  home 
circle.  He  had  a  sense  of  fun  and  of  humor.  In  music, 
of  which  he  was  very  fond,  he  preferred  Weber  to  Wagner. 

Notwithstanding  the  order  in  which  Emperor  William 
kept  his  papers,  he  left  quantities  of  letters  in  a  cupboard 
at  the  Versailles  prefecture, where  Mme.  Thiers  found  them. 
Hundreds  of  them  were  letters  from  French  victims  of 
the  war  or  exasperated  patriots.  They  were  all  annotated 
in  the  Emperor's  handwriting.  The  marginal  observa- 
tions were  creditable  in  the  extreme  to  him.  In  noting 
complaints  of  how  Prussian  soldiers  had  harried  villages, 
he  said,  "  This  must  be  put  a  stop  to."  In  another  letter 
he  was  accused  of  waging  a  wicked  war,  so  he  wrote: 
"  This  may  be  true.  God  give  me  light."  There  were 
notes  of  orders  for  money  to  be  sent  to  some  families 
which  had  been  burned  out  of  house  and  home." 

True  to  his  profession  when  a  mere  boy,  he  steadily 
continued  to  value  those  who  had  rendered  him  service. 
He  was  devotedly  thankful  to  Prince  Bismarck  for  the  great 
services  that  statesman  had  performed  both  for  him  and 
his  country.  He  never  failed  to  honor  him  when  an 
opportunity  to  do  so  presented  itself,  and  was  not  to  be 
outdone  by  the  people  in  their  demonstration  of  admiration 
and  gratitude  for  the  great  Chancellor. 

On  the  Ist  of  April,  1885,  Prince  Bismarck  celebrated 
his  seventieth  birthday.  It  was  made  the  occasion  of  fes- 
tivals and  rejoicing  all  over  Germany.  They  all  felt  that, 
although  he  had  been  a  hard  task-master,  the  country  owed 


him  much.  He  was  the  recipient  of  many  testimonials  of 
esteem  and  good  will,  and  at  the  close  of  that  day  he  must 
have  retired  with  the  satisfactory  resum6  in  his  mind  that 
if  he  was  cursed  by  a  few,  he  was  loved  and  honored  by 
the  many. 

The  most  prominent  of  his  admirers  who  improved  the 
opportunity  to  present  him  with  a  testimonial  of  their 
gratefulness  was  Emperor  WiUiam  himself,  who,  in  com- 
pany with  the  Crown  Prince  and  other  members  of  the 
family  paid  Prince  Bismarck  a  friendly  visit,  and  presented 
him  with  a  reduced  copy  of  Von  Werner's  great  painting, 
"The  Proclamation  of  the  Empire  at  Versailles,"  ac- 
companied by  the  foUuwing  autographic  letter  from  the 
Emperor : 

"My  Dear  Prince — The  German  people  having  shown 
a  warm  desire  to  testify  to  you,  on  the  occasion  of  your 
seventieth  birthday,  that  the  recollection  of  all  you  have 
done  for  the  greatness  of  the  Fatherland  lives  in  so  many 
grateful  hearts,  I,  too,  feel  strongly  impelled  to  tell 
you  how  deeply  gratified  I  am  that  such  a  feeling  of 
thankfulness  and  veneration  for  you  moves  the  nation. 
I  am  rejoiced  at  this,  for  you  have  most  richly  earned 
the  recognition,  and  my  heart  is  warmed  at  seeing  such 
sentiments  manifested  in  so  great  a  measure;  for  it  dig- 
nifies the  nation  in  the  present,  and  strengthens  our  hopes 
of  its  future,  when  it  shows  appreciation  of  the  true  and 
the  great,  and  when  it  celebrates  and  honors  its  most 
meritorious  men.  To  me,  and  to  my  house,  it  is  an  especial 
pleasure  to  take  part  in  such  a  festival;  and  by  the 
accompanying  picture,  we  wish  to  convey  to  you  with 
what  feelings  of  grateful  recollection  we  do  this,  seeing 
that  it  calls  to  mind  one  of  the  greatest  moments  in  the 

4:72  EMPEBOB  WILLIiLM  I.  AS  A   MAN. 

history  of  the  House  of  HohenzoUern — one  which  can 
never  be  thought  of  without  at  the  same  time  recalling 
your  merits. 

"  You,  my  dear  Prince,  know  how  I  shall  always  be 
animated  towards  you  with  feelings  of  the  fullest  confi- 
dence, of  the  most  sincere  affection,  and  the  warmest  grat- 
itude; but,  in  saying  this,  I  tell  you  nothing  which  I 
have  not  often  enough  already  repeated  to  you,  and  mo- 
th inks  that  this  painting  will  enable  your  latest  descend- 
ants to  realize  that  your  Eaiser  and  King,  as  well  as  his 
house,  were  well  conscious  of  what  they  had  to  thank  you 
for.  With  these  sentiments  and  feelings,  which  will  last 
beyond  the  grave,  I  end  these  lines. 

"Tour  grateful,  faithful  and  devoted  Kaiser  and  King, 


This  was  the  proudest  moment  in  the  life  of  the  great 
statesman.  For  it  was  more  than  the  formal  acknowl- 
edgment of  a  grateful  sovereign — ^it  was  a  proclamation  to 
the  present  and  to  coming  generations,  by  the  crowned 
representative  of  the  German  people,  that  by  honoring  in 
Bismark  truth  and  greatness,  they  honored  them^lves.  | 

Two  years  later,  on  the  22d  day  of  March,  1887, 
Emperor  William  celebrated  his  own  birthday.  It  was 
his  ninetieth^  and  was  the  last  he  enjoyed  on  earth.  The 
day  was  enthusiastically  commemorated,  not  only  in  Ger- 
many, but  wherever  the  German  tongue  is  spoken. 

That  the  German  people  had  a  profound  and  ardent 
love  for  the  Emperor  i&  t  fact  that  was  patent  to  every- 
body who  lived  for  any  length  of  time  among  them. 
They  admire  and  respect  Bismarck,  but  they  also  fear 
him.  The  great  Chancellor  never  had  the  knack  of  making 
himself  a  place  in  the  public  heart.    It  is  said  that  even 


in  the  princely  family  circle  love  is  somewhat  strongly 
flavored  with  awe.  But  with  the  Emperor  it  was  quite 
otherwise.  Not  only  was  he  the  object  of  love  on  the 
part  of  his  family,  but  the  same  feeling  was  found  through- 
out the  Empire  and  among  all  classes  of  people.  When- 
ever the  Emperor  returned  from  opening  the  new  Prussian 
Parliament  to  the  old  palace,  the  Linden  was  lined  with 
people  on  both  sides,  and  as  his  majesty  drove  by  the 
entire  multitude  would  stand  with  uncovered  heads. 
There  was  no  mistaking  the  sentiment  with  which  these 
people  regarded  the  man. 

Fredrick  SchiUer's  sentence  in  his  great  poem,  "The 
Bell,"  ''Das  Werk  es  soU  dm  Meister  lobm,''  ("  The  work 
shall  praise  its  master  "),  never  found  a  more  appropriate 
application  than  in  the  instance  of  the  founder  of  the  new 
German  Empire. 

, ' 

'  •-  .< 




AT  THE  beginning  of  March,  1888,  the  aged  Emperor 
r\  was  found  to  be  suffering  from  an  aflfection  of  the 
mucous  membrane  of  the  throat  and  irritation  of  the 
membrane  of  the  eyelids  —  the  general  symptoms  of  a 
cold,  to  which  were  added,  after  a  few  days,  painful 
abdominal  disorders,  in  consequence  of  which  his  appetite 
materially  diminished.  Becoming  greatly  weakened 
through  his  disinclination  to  receive  nourishment,  but  a 
few  days  had  passed  before  he  fell  into  frequent  fainting 
fits.  The  morning  of  March  7  brought  the  certainty  to 
the  attending  physicians  that  the  Emperor,  could  not 
recover.  His  real  ailment  wsisrenal  calculvsy  which  is  the 
crudest  of  all  kidney  diseases. 

The  Grand  Duchess  of  Baden,  the  Emperor's  daugh- 
ter, and  her  husband,  and  the  Crown  Princess  of  Sweden, 
the  Emperor's  granddaughter,  were  telegraphed  for,  and 
arrived  the  following  morning. 

At  midnight  there  had  been  no  change  for  the  worse, 
but  not  until  then  had  the  Emperor  been  able  to  sleep. 
Morphia  had  been  administered;  but  during  the  night  he 
had  frequent  and  serious  fainting  fits.  The  doctors  were 
unable  to  wake  him  to  administer  food  until  late  in  the 

On  the  morning  of  the  8th  the  Emperor  spoke  a 
few  words  to  Prince  William  about  the  impending 
drill    of   the   guards,    but    in    a   wandering    manner. 



Prince  Bismarck  tried  to  speak  to  him,  but  it  was 
useless.  The  Emperor  soon  fell  into  a  swoon,  and 
his  pulse,  which  was  usually  57,  rose  to  108  and  he  had  a 
fever.  About  midday  he  became  conscious  and  the  sacra- 
ment was  administered.  At  noon  all  the  members  of  the 
Imperial  family  except  the  crown  prince  and  crown  prin- 
cess were  in  a  room  adjoining  that  occupied  by  tlie  Emper- 
or. At  12:25  Court  Chaplain  Kogel  gave  the  last  sacra- 
ment to  the  Emperor.  Before  this  he  had  been  occasion- 
ally delirious. 

The  Empress  and  the  Grand  Duchess  of  Baden  remained 
with  the  Emperor  throughout  the  night.  At  one  o'clock 
the  next  morning  the  Emperor's  voice  was  so  strong  that 
it  could  be  heard  outside  his  room.  He  was  given  oysters 
and  egg  and  a  little  champagne  and  sherry.  lie  was  fully 
conscious,  showing  an  interest  in  what  was  passing  around 
him.  He  asked  the  Grand  Duchess  of  Baden,  who  sat  by 
the  bed,  whether  she  had  already  dined  and  with  whom, 
and  then  asked  why  she  had  not  dined  with  the  Empress." 
He  expressed  regret  that  he  was  "causing  so  much  trou- 
ble"—  a  gentleman  to  the  last.  An  immense  but  silent 
crowd  stood  near  the  palace  all  day,  notwithstanding  the 
fact  that  a  cold  rain  was  falling.  The  palace  was 
guarded  by  cavalry.  Business  in  the  city  was  virtually 
suspended  and  the  theatres  were  closed. 

Divine  service  was  held  in  the  palace  at  5  o'clock. 
All  the  members  of  the  Imperial  family,,  the  Court  dig- 
nitaries, and  the  members  of  the  household  were  present. 
Hundreds  of  people  stood  bareheaded  in  the  rain  outside 
the  Palace  and  joined  in  the  prayers  offered  by  Chaplain 

Prince  Bismarck  went  to  the  bedside  at  five  o'clock 


and  the  Emperor  spoke  to  him.  It  was  the  parting 
moment  between  friend  and  friend,  rather  than  king  and 
subject,  and  so  Prince  Bismarck  seemed  to  consider  it. 
From  this  hour  on,  with  few  lucid  moments,  the  Emperor 
passed  the  night,  dying  at  8  o'clock  a.m.,  March  9  th. 

He  was  buried  March  16th,  at  noon,  in  the  Eoyal  Mau- 
soleum,of  Charlottenburg,his  remains  being  placed  between 
the  tombs  of  his  father  and  mother  —  that  mother  whose 
memory  he  worshiped  with  a  reverence  so  profound  and 
tender  that  he  was  often  heard  sadly  repeating  to  himself 
the  couplet,  said  to  have  been  written  by  her  at  the  cot- 
tage where  she  passed  the  night  on  her  flight  to  the  East 
of  Prussia, 

"  Who  never  ate  his  bread  with  tears. 
Who  never  aat  through  nightly  hours 
Upon  his  bed,  a  prey  to  fears. 
He  knows  you  not,  ye  Heavenly  Powers." 

The  grand  and  imposing  funeral,  which  lacked  what 
should  have  been  its  most  interesting  feature — the  pres- 
ence of  the  new  Emperor  and  King,  Frederick  III.,  who 
was  compelled  by  the  state  of  his  health  and  by  the  severe 
weather  to  remain  within  the  palace  at  Charlottenburg — 
was  attended  by  kings  and  royal  princes,  and  by  repre- 
sentatives of  aU  European  nations,  as  well  as  of  Germany, 
and  was  especially  a  demonstration  of  patriotic  loyalty  on 
the  part  of  the  capital  and  kingdom  of  valiant  Prussia. 

The  body. of  the  aged  monarch  lay  in  state  at  the 
Domkircbe  or  cathedral  of  Berlin  from  Monday,  the  13 th, 
to  Thursday  night,  on  a  catafalque  erected  in  front  of 
the  altar,  covered  with  purple  vdvet,  having  an  ermine 
border.  The  Emperor's  head,  on  a  white  silk  pillow,  was 
covered  with  his  military  cap,  the  body  clad  in  the  oni- 

Death  akd  burial  of  empeboh  avxlliam  i.        477 

form  ot  the  First  RegimeDt  of  the  Guards,  and  wrapped 
in  the  gray  military  cloak.  The  decorations  on  the  breast 
were  the  star  of  the  Black  Eagle,  the  order  Pour  le  Merite^ 
and  the  Qrand  Cross  of  the  Iron  Cross  suspended  from 
the  neck.  At  the  feet  was  deposited  a  laurel  wreath.  By 
the  catafalque  were  placed  five  tabourets,  with  the  crown, 
insignia  and  orders  of  the  late  Emperor.  On  each  side 
were  three  large  candelabra,  each  holding  thirty  lighted 
wax  tapers.  An  immense  mass  of  floral  wreaths,  some 
of  huge  size,  and  of  every  variety  of  design,  accumulated 
round  the  catafalque.  The  highest  court  dignitaries  and 
officials  and  generals  of  the  Prussian  army  kept  guard 
over  the  body  of  their  sovereign.  The  whole  interior  of 
the  church,  its  columns  as  well  as  the  altar  and  pulpit, 
had  been  draped  in  black.  It  was  densely  thronged  with 
visitors  coming  in  and  going  out.  The  Empress  Victoria, 
the  Crown  Prince  and  others  of  the  imperial  family  early 
visited  the  church ;  the  Crown  Prince  returned  with  the 
officers  of  his  Hussar  regiment  of  Guards.  The  Prince  of 
Wales,  on  Thursday,  with  Prince  Albert  Victor  and 
the  Duke  of  Cambridge,  paid  his  reverence  to  the  body  of 
the  deceased  Emperor;  so  did  the  Crown  Prince  of  Aus- 
tria, the  Czare witch,  the  King  of  the  Belgians,  the  King 
and  Queen  of  Eoumania,  the  Crown  Princes  of  Denmark 
and  of  Sweden,  and  the  German  Grand  Dukes  and  Princes. 

The  streets  and  public  edifices  of  Berlin,  as  the  day  of 
the  funeral  approached,  put  on  their  garb  of  mourning. 

The  funeral  ceremonies  began  with  a  religious  service 
in  the  Cathedral,  performed  by  the  Rev.  Dr.  Kogel,  the 
Court  Chaplain,  assisted  by  other  clergymen.  The  high 
Court  officials  and  Ministers  of  State,  except  Prince  Bis- 
marck, stood  at  the  tabourets  aroimd  the  bier ;  the  Em- 


press  Victoria,  with  the  Princesses  of  the  Imperial  fam- 
ily, the  Queen  of  Koumania  and  other  ladies  of  royal  or 
princely  rank,  occupied  seats  to  the  left  of  the  altar ;  the 
King  of  Saxony,  King  of  the  Belgians,  King  of  Eou- 
mania,  Imperial  and  Royal  Crown  Princes,  Grand  Dukes 
and  many  other  Princes,  to  the  right.  After  the  bene- 
diction, the  soldiers  outside  fired  three  salutes ;  and  the 
military  officers,  General  Von  Pape  commanding  the 
Guards,  and  his  aides-de-camp,  General  Von  Lehndorflf 
and  Prince  Eadziwill,  with  drawn  swords,  took  their  post 
at  the  head  of  the  coffin,  while  deputations  from  several 
Prussian,  Bavarian,  Saxon  and  WUrtemberg  regiments 
drew  up  at  its  foot.  The  coffin  was  then  raised  by 
twelve  Colonels,  and  carried,  preceded  by  the  royal 
Chamberlains  and  the  State  Ministers,  bearing  the  imperial 
insignia,  followed  by  the  Imperial  banner,  to  the  royal 
hearse,  while  four  Knights  of  the  Order  of  the  Black 
Eagle  held  the  corners  of  the  pall,  and  the  Generals  car- 
ried the  baldaquin  above  the  royal  coffin.  The  organ 
continued  playing  whilst  Her  Majesty  and  the  royal  fam- 
ily took  their  places  in  the  funeral  procession.  The  pro- 
cession then  started,  amidst  the  pealing  of  all  the  bells  of 
the  town,  over  the  Castle  bridge,  through  the  center 
promenade  Under  den  Linden,  through  the  Brandenburg 
Gate,  as  far  as  the  Sieges -Allee.  It  was  escorted  by 
squadrons  from  eight  cavalry  regiments,  with  trumpeters, 
seven  battalions  of  infantry  (the  Guards),  with  regimen- 
tal bands,  and  twelve  guns  of  field  artillery.  The  Eoyal 
household  preceded  the  different  "insignia,"  the  Electoral 
Sword  and  Hat  of  Brandenburg,  the  Order  of  the  Black 
Eagle,  the  Imperial  Seal,  Sword,  Globe  and  Sceptre,  and 
the  Eoyal  Crown,  each  carried  by  a  Minister  of  State. 


Then  came  the  hearse,  drawn  by  six  black  horses,  led  by 
Staflf  Colonels,  with  Generals  holding  the  pall  and  balda- 
quin. The  late  Emperor's  war-horse  was  led  behind  it. 
General  Von  Pape  bore  the  Imperial  banner  of  white  silk 
with  a  black  eagle.  The  foreign  Kings,  Crown  Princes, 
German  Grand  Dukes  and  Royal  Princes,  walked  together, 
mostly  wearing  their  hats  and  cloaks,  followed  by  Ambassa- 
dors, Generals,  and  officers  of  their  suites.  The  Imperial 
Chancellor,  Prince  Bismarck,  and  Field-Marshal  Count 
Moltke,  could  not  join  in  the  procession ;  but  the  Coun- 
cillors of  State,  the  Presidents  of  the  German  Reichs- 
tag and  Prussian  Landtag,  the  heads  of  the  Govern- 
ment offices  and  of  the  Church,  and  deputations  from  the 
Univeraities,  magistracy,  provincial  councils  and  munici- 
palities passed  in  due  order.  In  rear  of  the  procession 
were  more  infantry  and  artillery.  The  line  of  route  from 
the  Cathedral  to  the  Sieges-Allee  was  kept  by  various 
guilds  of  the  town,  and  by  students  of  the  German  Uni- 
versities. The  widowed  Empress  Augusta  saw  the  pro- 
cession from  a  window  of  the  Old  Palace. 

At  the  Sieges-Allee,  in  the  Thiergarten,  the  imperial 
and  royal  personages,  with  many  others  of  rank,  left  the 
procession  and  entered  their  carriages  to  drive  on  to  Char- 
lottenburg.  The  Empress  Victoria  and  the  Crown  Prince, 
and  others  of  the  Imperial  family,  had  reached  the  palace 
and  were  with  the  Emperor,  who  looked  out  from  an  upper 
window  to  see  the  procession  go  through  the  park  to  the 
mausoleum.  It  passed  through  a  long  avenue  of  pine  and 
fir  trees,  to  that  small  marble  building,  at  the  door  of  which 
the  coffin  was  taken  from  the  hearse  and  carried  in.  The 
chief  mourners,  the  Empress  Victoria,  the  Crown  Prince 
and  Prince  Henry,  and  the  Grand  Duchess  of  Baden, 


with  their  friends,  then  entered  the  mausoleum.  The  walls 
inside  were  decorated  with  wreaths  of  flow^ers.  The  Rev. 
Dr.  Kogel  said  over  the  coflBn  a  few  prayers  and  a  bless- 
ing. Finally,  the  Empress  and  all  the  other  mourners, 
one  by  one,  knelt  by  the  coffin  in  silent  pm3"er.  At  tiieir 
departure,  a  salute  of  101  guns  was  fired  by  the  artillery 
in  the  park. 

In  his  wiU,  written  by  himself,  the  late  Emperor 
William,  according  to  the  National  Zeitung^  left  only 
24,000,000  marks,  $6,000,000,  of  which  sum  the  Empi-ess 
receives  $750,000,  the  Grand  Duchess  of  Baden,  the  Crown 
Prince  and  Princess,  and  Prince  Henry  each  $250,000, 
the  latter  receiving  also  an  estate  purchased  for  him.  Of 
a  sum  of  $250,000  saved  by  the  Emperor,  the  Emperor 
Frederick  is  to  receive,  according  to  a  clause  inserted  in 
the  will  in  tlie  sixtieth  year  of  the  late  Emperor's  life, 
$93,000,  and  the  Grand  Duchess  of  Baden  $62,000.  The 
Crown  Treasury  is  to  receive  $3,000,000,  the  i-emainder 
being  absorbed  by  various  other  bequests.  To  the  Hall 
of  Glory  the  following  objects:  The  sword  which  he 
carried  from  1810  to  1834,  the  sword  he  carried  in  the 
battle  of  Koniggratz,  July  3,  1866,  and  all  through  the 
Austrian  and  Franco-Gei'man  wars,  its  blade  having  the 
names  of  the  principal  battles  engraved  upon  it ;  the  sword 
carried  by  him  on  parades,  the  sword  inherited  from  his 
brother.  King  Frederick  William  IV.;  all  his  decorations 
for  military  merit,  together  with  the  presents  received  on 
his  military  jubilees,  and  his  gold  and  silver  laurel  wreaths ; 
and  finally  the  sword  carried  by  his  father  in  the  unlucky 
days  of  1806  and  during  the  Napoleonic  wars,  which 
during  the  Emperor's  lifetime  (as  distinctly  added  by  him) 
always  stood  by  his  writing-desk  in  the  historic  corner 

Death  ai^d  ruiual  Of  emperor  William  i.        481 

room  of  the  Royal  Palace.  As  a  souvenir,  the  Lichterfelde 
Qorps  of  Cadets  received  the  sword  presented  to  the 
Emperor  at  St.  Petersburg  in  1834,  and  carried  by  him 
until  the  morning  of  the  day  of  Koniggnitz.  Finally 
the  Emperor  ordered  the  uniforms  of  all  the  regiments  of 
which  he  was  the  honorary  commander,  to  be  distributed 
to  the  respective  regiments. 

"  Vale^  Senex  Imperator. "  Such  was  the  touching  fare- 
well of  the  people  of  Berlin  to  the  sovereign  who  raised 
their  city  to  be  the  capital  of  United  Germany.  All  that 
was  mortal  of  him  had  passed  from  their  midst,  but  his 
spirit  and  work  remain  as  a  priceless  heritage  for  them 
and  the  whole  German  people.  This  is  what  gives  to 
the  late  ceremonial  its  deep  historical  significance.  It 
was  no  mere  court  ceremonial,  such  as  invest  with  pomp 
and  circumstance  the  burial  of  an  ordinary  sovereign  who 
has  succeeded  to  a  secure  throne  and  occupied  it  with 
peace  and  prosperity.  It  was  a  whole  nation's  mourning 
for  a  man  who  first  made  it  one  with  itself.  The 
Emperor  William  was  no  man  of  genius  in  the  ordinary 
sense,  and  his  military  capacity  is  not  to  be  compared  with 
his  ancestor,  Frederick  the  Great ;  but  he  had  the  inesti- 
mable gifts  in  a  ruler  of  good  sense,  of  simplicity  of  char- 
acter, of  unswerving  fidelity  to  the  interests  of  his  coun- 
try, of  untiring  industry  in  the  discharge  of  his  public 
duties.  "  I  have  no  time  to  be  tired  "  was  one  of  his  last 
utterances.  "  My  life  is  on  the  decline,"  said  Frederick 
the  Great  a  short  time  before  his  death,  "  the  time  which  I 
still  have  I  must  employ.  It  belongs  not  to  me,  but  to  the 
State."  In  these  two  utterances  of  two  great  Hohen- 
zoUems  we  have  the  true  spirit  of  the  HohenzoUern  race, 
the  spirit  which  has  raised  the  HohenzoUems  to   the 


throne  of  Prussia^  and  Prussia  to  the  hegemony  of  Ger- 
many. It  was  to  this  spirit  that  the  whole  German 
nation  did  homage  in  its  mourning  for  its  lost  Emperor. 
It  recognized  in  him  the  best  representative  of  its  own 
earnestness,  its  own  native  piety  of  disposition,  its  own 
firm  grasp  of  reality,  its  own  homespun  integrity,  its  own 
love  of  the  Fatherland,  its  own  passionate  aspirations  after 
national  unity  and  greatness,  its  own  patient  endurance 
of  the  labors,  trials  and  perils  which  those  aspirations 
entailed.  For  this  reason  the  noise  of  the  mourning  of  a 
mighty  nation  has  resounded  throughout  the  world  — for 
Germans  are  everywhere  —  and  has  met  with  a  heartfelt 
response  from  all  who  honor  true  greatness  and  respect  a 
people's  sorrow ;  for  United  Germany  may  well  say  of  its 
first  Emperor  with  the  poet,  he  was 

'  Great,  yet  with  leaBt  pretence, 
Great  in  council  and  great  in  war» 
Foremost  captain  of  his  time. 
Rich  in  saving  common  sense. 
And  as  the  greatest  only  are. 
In  his  simplicity  sublime." ' 



UPON  the  death  of  Emperor  William  I.  his  only  son 
was  at  once  proclaimed  Emperor  of  Germany  and 
King  of  Prussia  under  the  title  of  Frederick  III.  He 
was  at  San  Eemo  at  the  time  when  his  father  fell  ill,  and 
was  unable  to  be  present  at  his  bedside  when  the  end  took 
place.  But  immediately  afterwards,  and  in  spite  of  the 
precarious  condition  of  his  own  health,  he  left  San  Eemo 
to  assume  his  new  duties  at  Berlin.  He  issued  the  usual 
proclamation  to  his  subjects  (supplementing  it  with  a 
letter  to  Prince  Bismarck),  in  which  he  shadowed  forth  a 
programme  of  educational  and  social  reforms  for  the 
Empire,  but  also  indicated  with  sufficient  clearness  that  nis 
foreign  policy  would  be  one  of  peace.  He  was  unable, 
however,  owing  to  inclement  weather,  to  be  present  at 
his  father's  funeral  or  to  go  through  the  usual  ceremonies 
in  the  Prussian  Diet  and  the  German  Eeichstag,  attend- 
ant on  the  assumption  of  sovereignty. 

As  has  been  before  stated,  Frederick  TIL  was  the  only 
son  of  the  late  Emperor  of  Germany,  and  was  born  at 
the  palace  of  Potsdam,  October  13, 1831.  He  was,  conse- 
quently, about  eighteen  years  old  at  the  breaking  out  of 
the  revolution  in  Germany,  in  1848,  and  was  an  interested 
witness  of  the  stormy  scenes  of  this  period.  This  fact, 
coupled  with  the  circumstance  that  he  was  educated  from 
the  first  for  a  military  life,  helped  to  prepare  him  for  the 
great  part  he  was  destined  to  perform  in  the  unification 
of  Germany. 


484  "  UNSER    FRITZ." 

At  the  same  time,  it  was,  perhaps,  as  well  for  a  time 
at  least,  that  the  young  Prince  was  not  thrust  very 
prominently  forward  either  in  political  or  military  life; 
this  saved  him  from  losing  that  love  of  domesticity  which 
forms  the  chief  if  not  the  sole  relief  from  the  pressure  of 
the  military  Germany.  It  was  not  till  the  mind  of 
his  uncle  gave  way,  and  his  father  was,  in  consequence, 
appointed  Regent,  that  the  young  Prince  became  a  per- 
sonage in  the  public  life  of  his  country.  Three  years 
later  his  father  ascended  the  throne  as  William  L, 
and  he,  in  consequence,  became  popularly  known  as  the 
Crown  Prince  of  Prussia.  Meanwhile,  he  had  risen  to  the 
position  of  General  in  the  army.  An  event,  however, 
had  by  this  time  occurred,  which  although  neither  polit- 
ical nor  military,  was  yet  of  no  inconsiderable  importance 
from  the  standpoint  not  only  of  Germany,  but  of  Great 
Britain,  and  was  his  marriage  with  the  Princess  Vic- 
toria Adelaide,  the  oldest  daughter  of  Queen  Victoria,  of 
England.  Prince  Frederick  was  twenty-six  years  of  age 
and  the  Princess  seventeen.  It  is  said  to  have  been  a 
love  match  from  the  first,  and  the  union  proved  a  singu- 
larly happy  one,  the  Prince  and  Princess  having  many 
tastes  in  common ;  and  when  the  war  broke  out  the  Princess 
had  an  arduous  task  to  perform,  and  one  very  differ- 
ent from  that  to  which  her  life  in  England  had  accus- 
tomed her:  she  had  to  take  her  place  by  her  husband's 
side,  almost  literally  in  the  field.  She  was,  however,  able 
to  perform  her  part  with  perfect  success.  In  consequence, 
she  became  as  great  a  favorite  in  Berlin  as  she  had  pre- 
viously been  in  London.  The  issue  of  the  marriage  were 
seven  children  —  Frederick  William  Victor  Albert,  bom 
January  27,  1859,  who,  popularly  known  as  Prince  Wil- 

"  UN8ER    FRITZ."  485 

liam,  and  married  to  the  Princess  Victoria  of  Schleswig- 
Ilolstein  Augustenburg,  now  succeeds  to  his  father's  posi- 
tion; Victoria  Elizabeth  Augusta  Charlotte,  born  July 
24,  1860;  Albert  William  Henry,  bom  August  14,  1862; 
Frederick  Amelia  Wilhehnina  Victoria,  born  April  12, 
1866;  Joachim  Frederick  Ernest  Waldemar,  bom  Feb- 
ruary 10, 1868,  (now  dead) ;  Sophia  Dorothy  Ulrica  Alice, 
born  June  14,  1876 ;  and  Margaret  Beatrix  Feodore,  bom 

April  22,  1872. 

It  was  not  till  the  year  1866  that  the  Crown  Prince  of 
Prussia  was  enabled  to  show  the  practical  value  of  the 
training  he  had  received  in  the  art  of  warfare.  For  mili- 
tary, and  perhaps  also  for  family  reasons,  he  took  no  part 
in  the  war  which  broke  out  in  the  Duchies  of  Schles- 
wig  and  Holstein,  between  the  Kingdom  of  Denmark  on 
the  one  hand  and  Austria  and  Prussia  on  the  other.  But 
(as  has  been  seen  in  a  foraier  chapter)  in  June,  1866,  the 
conquerors  of  Denmark,  Prussia  and  Austria  quarreled. 
The  Crown  Prince  and  his  relative,  Prince  Frederick 
Charles,  were  appointed  to  the  command  of  the  two 
armies  which  Marshal  von  Moltke  sent  forward  for  the 
invasion  of  Austria.  The  Crown  Prince's  part  in  the 
campaign  was  of  the  most  difficult,  yet  also  most  brilliant, 
description.  He  led  his  troops,  numbering  125,000  men, 
from  Silesia  through  the  passes  of  the  frontier  into  Bohe- 
mia, an  operation  attended  with  the  greatest  difficulty. 

One  of  the  engagements  that  took  place,  known  as  the 
battle  of  Nachod,  threatened  to  have  somewhat  serious 
consequences  for  the  Crown  Prince.  The  advance  guard 
of  the  Pmssian  army  was  forced  to  retire  by  the  fire  of 
the  Austrian  artillery,  and  two  squadrons  of  dragoons, 
ordered  to  stop  an  Austrian  Cuirassier  regiment,  were 

*^6  "UNSER    FfilTZ." 

driven  back  Ifke  chaff.  "  Confusion,"  says  one  eye-witness, 
seemed  to  cover  the  advance,  and  the  Crown  Prince 
entangled  in  the  whirl,  was  for  a  moment  unable  to  extri- 
cate himself  from  the  mass  of  dismounted  dragoons,  loose 
hors^,  mfantry  columns,  artillery  and  ammunition  wagons 
mmglmg  with  each  other  in  the  narrow  and  steep^a^s! 
The  first  moments  of  surprise  over,  the  Crown  Prince 
ordered  up  artillery  to  his  right,  and  in  the  couree  of  the 
day  upwards  of  eighty  gnns  were  m  position  at  one  time 
sweeping  the  ground  which  sinks  from  Wvsokow  down- 
wards towards  Skalitz.  The  Austrians,  whcise  sole  purpose 
during  the  day  had  been  to  turn  the  Prussian  right,  were 

of"stl  1  "^  ^^  f  P'  """^  ^*  ^^"^  ^'^'^^k  the  Uole 
p1!!  nf  w  ,^'T  ^f  debouched,  fighting,  out  of  the 
Pa^s  of  Wysokow."  The  Crown  Prince  gained  another 
victory  at  Skalitz,  this  time  over  the  Archduke  Leonid  S 
Austria  Fmally,  he  was  able  to  interfere,  and  wiih  de- 
cisive effect,  at  the  battle  of  Sadowa  or  KbniggrStz,  which 
took  place  on  the  3d  of  July, 

This  great  battle,  which  decided  the  supremacy  of 
Prussia  in  the  affairs  of  Germany,  ha.  been  describ^  L 
Chapter  X.,  page  384  of  this  volume. 

When  the  Franco-German  War  broke  out  in  1870  it 
was  natural  that  the  Crown  Prince  should  b;  appointed 
to  a  promment  position  of  command.  He  was  charc^d 
with  the  task  of  invading  Fi^ce  through  AlsaS  ^d  S 
rame.     [See  page  413.]  «»"" -lwx: 

For  his  eminent  services  to  his  countiy  and  father 

npon  him  the  nighest  military  dignity  known  in  the  Gei- 
man  Army,  that  of  Field-Marehal  General 

thJ^ll  ^"/^^"^Ph  lettersof  the  Emperor,  accompanyimr 
the  promotion,  read  as  follows:  p«"ymg 

«  tt«tot:<t,     ^T>Tm'»  " 

UKSEB   FRITZ."  487 

"  Versailles,  October  28, 1870. 

"Whereas, in  consequence  of  the  capitulation  of  Marshal 
Bazaine  and  the  surrender  of  the  fortress  of  Metz,  the 
two  armies  that  had  been  arrayed  against  the  joint  forces 
of  Prussia  and  Bavaria  in  July  last,  at  the  opening  of  a 
war  which  was  entirely  unprovoked  by  us,  have  fallen 
prisoners  to  their  foe,  I  feel  myself  constrained  to  mark 
this  important  pause  in  the  hostilities  by  an  act  of  special 
significance.  In  bringing  our  diificult  task  to  a  successful 
issue,  you  have  had  a  prominent  part ;  first,  at  the  open- 
ing of  the  campaign,  by  two  victories  in  rapid  sequence ; 
next,  by  covering  the  left  flank  of  the  main  body  by  a 
strategical  advance,  that  it  might  proceed  in  security  to 
attack  the  army  of  Bazaine ;  further,  by  effecting  a  junc- 
tion of  your  division  with  the  Grand  Army  to  follow  up 
the  operations  against  Sedan ;  and  now,  finally,  by  proceed- 
ing to  invest  Paris  itself;  every  one  of  which  achieve- 
ments serves  to  betoken  a  great  and  successful  commander. 
It  is  only  fitting,  therefore,  that  you  should  be  promoted 
to  the  very  highest  military  rank,  and  accordingly  I 
hereby  appoint  you  Field-Marshal  General. 

"  It  is  the  first  time  that  this  distinction  (which  at  the 
same  time,  I  confer  upon  Prince  Frederick  Charles)  has 
ever  been  borne  by  a  prince  of  our  line.  But  the  suc- 
cesses achieved  in  this  campaign  are  of  so  much  higher 
and  more  pregnant  importance  than  those  that  have  pre- 
ceded them,  that  I  hold  myself  completely  justified  in 
departing  from  what  has  hitherto  been  the  rule  of  our 
house.  What  my  fraternal  heart  feels  in  making  this 
signal  expression  of  the  gratitude  of  your  King  and  of 
your  fatherland,  no  words  of    mine  need  tell. 

"  Your  affectionate  and  grateful  father,      **  Wiluam." 

488  "  UNSEB    FRITZ. 

The  modest  dignity  with  which  this  extraordinary  dis- 
tinction was  received  by  Frederick  is  exemplified  in  the 
reply  made  to. a  congratulatory  letter  from  hisoldcom_ 
mander,  Field-Marshal  General  Von  Wrangol. 

"  The  King,"  he  said,  "  has  informed  me  of  my  promo- 
tion in  an  autograph  letter,  as  grateful  as  gracious,  in 
which  lie  specifies  the  reasons  which  have  impelled  him 
to  depart  from  the  usages  of  our  house,  a  prince  of  which 
has  never  hitherto  been  made  Field-Marshal.  As  my 
brave  troops  are  also  honored  in  my  promotion,  I  accept 
the  new  dignity,  rejoicing  that  the  credit  appertains  to 
others  besides  myself. 

"  Great  things  have  been  accomplished  by  our  arms, 
and  now  it  is  to  be  trusted  that  the  work  of  bloodshed 
may  be  crowned  by  a  peace  that  shall  be  a  securitj^  for 
the  well-being  of  our  fellow-countrymen,  and  advance  the 
internal  aggrandizement  of  what  we  hope  we  may  now 
designate  our  great  and  united  Fatherland. 

"  I  thank  you  for  all  your  proofs  of  kindly  sympathy, 
and  especially  for  the  message  which  I  have  just  received 
from  you,  my  old  comrade  and  commander  of  1864." 

When,  on  the  18th  of  January,  1871,  his  father  was 
proclaimed  German  Emperor  within  the  "  Hall  of  Mirrors," 
at  the  Palace  of  Versailles,  he  was  present,  and  had  as- 
signed to  him  a  prominent  place  in  the  ceremonial  of  the 
day.  At  the  same  time  the  Crown  Prince,  in  virtue  of 
his  birth,  became  Prince  Imperial  and  heir  to  the  throne 
of  Germany. 

At  the  close  of  the  war,  but  previous  to  the  disband- 
ment  of  the  army,  the  Grown  Prince  was  ordered  home 
by  his  father  to  attend  to  the  duties  of  State.  Before 
leaving  his  brave  troops  with  whom  he  had  shared  the 

"UNSER   FRITZ."  489 

dangers  and  hardships  of  a  sanguinary  campaign,  he 
issued  the  following  farewell  address  : 

"  Soldiers  of  the  Third  Army  I  When,  last  July,  I  un- 
dertook the  command  over  you,  I  did  not  hesitate  to 
express  my  trust  that  the  bravery  of  the  united  German 
races  would  succeed  in  vanquishing  the  foe  who  had  inso- 
lently challenged  us  to  fight.  That  confidence  you  have 
.  admirably  vindicated,  for  in  this  eventful  campaign  the 
Third  Army  has  won  as  many  victories  as  it  has  seen 

"  At  the  outset  you  broke  through  the  enemy's  door 
at  Weissenburg,  thus  opening  the  way  for  your  career  of 
victory,  and  within  two  days  afterwards,  the  enemy, 
obstinate  as  he  was,  was  routed  in  the  engagement  at 
Worth  ;  in  rapid  march  you  hung  upon  his  retreat,  and  took 
your  glorious  part  in  the  decisive  action  of  Sedan.  With 
unabated  ardor  you  pressed  onwards  to  the  heart  of  the 
hostile  country,  drove  the  fugitives  back  within  the  walls 
of  their  capital,  and  for  well-nigh  five  months,  with  in- 
credible endurance,  bearing  up  against  the  severities  and 
hardships  of  a  trying  winter,  you  kept  them  closely  be- 

Upon  his  return  to  Germany  "  TTnser  Fritz,"  as  he  was 
now  generaUy  called,  subsided  into  the  old  position  he 
had  occupied  before,  although  naturally  with  an  acces- 
sion of  dignity  and  reputation.  He  was,  besides,  a  man 
of  forty  years  of  age,  and,  as  was  to  be  expected,  had 
opinions  of  his  own.  It  was  about  this  time  that  it  became 
generally  understood,  both,  that  he  did  not  hold  quite 
the  same  views  of  the  European  situation  and  of  the 
attitude  of  Germany  toward  her  neighbors,  as  Priuce  Bis- 
marck, and  that  he  was  influenced  in  his  views  upon  many 

490  "  UNSER   FKITZ."  ' 

things  by  the  Crown  Princess — much  better  and  more 
generally  known,  as  the  Princess  Koyal  of  Great  Britain. 
As  events  turned  out,  this  surmise  proved  correct,  at  least 
essentially.  -Not  that  the  Crown  Prince  ever  quarreled 
with  the  great  Chancellor,  to  whose  policy  the  completion 
of  the  task  of  the  unification  of  Germany  was  due,  as  no 
one  was  readier  to  admit  this  than  himself.  But  he  had 
a  more  friendly,  or  perhaps  it  should  be  termed  a  more 
considerate  feeling  for  France  than  his  father's  friend,  and 
there  is  reason  to  believe  that  this  feeling  was  shown  to 
some  purpose  a  few  years  after  the  war,  when,  as  was 
proved  afterward,  a  scare  in  Berlin  very  nearly  led  to  an 
early  renewal  of  the  war.  On  that  occasion  the  Crown 
Prince's  weight  in  his  father's  council  was  thrown  into 
the  scale  opposed  to  the  Chancellor,  and  his  opinion  car- 
ried the  day.  Further,  the  Empress  Victoria  very  natu- 
rally took  over  to  Germany  from  her  country  a  good 
number  of  the  opinions  she  had  inherited  from  her 
mother  in  regard  to  education,  the  value  of  art,  etc.,  as -a 
a  civilizing  agent,  and  the  position  of  women  in  society. 
She  very  naturally  gave  effect  to  these  opinions  as  circum- 
stances permitted,  and  to  a  certain  extent  she  became  un- 
popular with  the  more  old-fashioned  of  the  German  aris- 
tocracy. Under  her  influence  the  Crown  Prince  developed 
an  interest  in  art,  technical  education,  and  a  number  of 
those  subjects  to  which  the  late  Prince  Albert  was  partial, 
and  indeed  it  was  very  commonly  said  of  her,  by  way  of 
summing  up  the  charges  against  her,  that  she  sought  to 
model  her  husband  upon  her  father.  The  Crown  Prince, 
however,  sustained  no  evil  effects  from  the  influence.  In 
England,  "  the  White  Prince,"  as  he  was  commonly  styled, 
from  the  uniform  which  he  wore  on  great  State  occasions, 

a    TT^TOw^n      -n.V>-rr.«.    >5 

UNSER  FEITZ."  491 

was  quite  as  much  a  favorite  as  he  was  in  his  native  Prus- 
sia, owing  to  his  modesty  of  demeanor,  his  fondness  for 
the  pleasure  of  domesticity,  and  his  liberal  and  unosten- 
tatious charity.  ♦ 

"And  afterw^ards,  whilst  one  detachment  was  employed 
in  keeping  back  the  forces,  which  overmatched  you  in 
numbers,  from  advancing  to  relieve  the  invested  city,  and 
was  thus  continually  in  the  midst  of  bloodshed,  the 
troops,  who  were  intrusted  with  the  seige,  energetically 
repulsed  every  sortie  till  the  enemy  had  no  alternative 
but  to  lay  down  his  arms  and  to  open  the  proud  gates,  of 
which  he  had  boasted,  that  they  were  impregnable. 

"  Such  achievements  belong  to  history,  and  you  who 
have  wrought  them,  the  Fatherland  accounts  as  worthy 
sons.  But  glorious  as  is  the  issue,  it  has  not  been  attained 
without  costly  and  painful  sacrifice,  and  it  is  with  the 
most  sympathizing  sorrow  that  we  recall  the  memory  of 
our  fallen  comrades,  whose  fame  shall  never  die. 

"An  honorable  peace  being  thus  concluded,  it  is  by  the 
Emperor's  command  that  I  return  home.  In  leaving  you 
I  offer  you  my  true  and  earnest  thanks ;  I  part  from  you, 
Prussians  and  Bavarians,  troops  of  Wtirtemberg  and  of 
Baden,  with  the  unshaken  confidence  that  the  bond  of 
comradeship  formed  on  the  field  of  battle  wMll  never  be 
torn  asunder,  but  rather  be  strengthened  by  time,  for  the 
honor,  renown  and  well-being  of  the  common  German 

(Signed)      "  Fbederick  William, 

"  Crown  Prince, 
"Commander-in-chief  of  the  Third  Army. 

"Nancy,  March  14,  18T1." 

As  we  have  seen  before,  the  Crown  Prince  was  not  in 

492  "UNSER   FBITZ.** 

full  sympathy  with  Prince  Bismarck's  policy,  and  conse- 
quently improved  every  opportunity  to  conveniently 
absent  himself  from  the  sittings  of  the  Council  of  State. 
He  visited  foreign  lands,  where,  on  great  occasions,  he  rep- 
resented  his  father.  Thus,  he  was  present  at  the  opening 
of  the  Suez  Canal,  and  upon  this  occasion  extended  his 
visit  to  the  regions  of  the  Upper  Nile  and  to  the  Holy 

His  diary,  which  he  kept  during  the  journey,  is  full  of 
highly  interesting  passages,  revealing  the  man  of  culture 
and  sentiment.  "Writing  of  Egypt,  he  says :  "  A  Nile 
journey  is,  perhaps,  one  of  the  most  interesting  a  traveler 
can  undertake.  It  requires,  however,  an  enormous  length 
of  time,  and,  notwithstanding  the  satisfaction  it  gave  me, 
I  confess  I  have  no  desire  to  go  a  second  time."  His  sin- 
cerity and  unpretension  in  religious  belief  is  expressed  in  the 
following  passage,  taken  from  his  description  of  Palestine: 
"As  long  as  I  live  I  shall  never  forget  this  first  evening 
in  Jerusalem,  as  I  watched  the  sun  set  in  a  stillness  which 
is  always  solemn  as  it  settles  over  nature.  Drawn  away 
from  earth,  the  soul  seemed  able  to  linger  undisturbed 
upon  the  thought  which  must  thrill  through  every  Chris- 
tian as  he  surveys  the  scene  on  which  the  great  work  of 
salvation  was  consummated.  To  be  in  such  a  place,  and 
there  to  read  the  familiar  passages  of  the  holy  Gospels,  is 
a  religious  service  of  itself." 

Prince  Frederick's  letter  accepting  the  invitation  to 
be  present  at  the  unveiling  of  General  Stein's  statue,* in 
1872,  showed  his  high  appreciation  of  the  services  of  this 
worthy  patriot,  rendered  in  Germany's  "  War  for  Inde- 
pendence," and  is  in  marked  contrast  to  the  ingratitude 
shown  by  republics  to  the  men  who  have  sacrificed  health, 

"uNSER  fritz/'  493 

homes  and  honorable  civQ  careers  for  the  success  of  a 
common  cause.  "  My  presence,"  said  he,  "  at  this  festi- 
val, will  not  only  show  the  deep  and  thankful  reverence 
that  I  feel  for  this  noblest  among  Germans,  but  will  lay 
ui)on  me  the  obligation  of  expressing  my  sympathy  with 
Isis  leading  ideas  as  a  statesman,  to  which  Prussia,  in  the 
(lays  of  her  misfortune,  owed  her  regeneration  and  rescue 
from  a  foreign  yoke.  May  the  moral  force  of  these  ideas 
which,  on  one  occasion  already,  have  thus  resolved  them- 
selves into  deeds  of  deliverance,  continue  so  thoroughly 
to  pervade  the  body  politic,  that  in  them  the  Empire  may 
find  a  pledge  of  a  great  and  happy  future." 

To  show  that,  notwithstanding  the  strong  feeling  of 
State  independence  existing  still  in  Gei'many,  the  feeling, 
also,  existed  of  great  love  and  respect  for  the  prospective 
head  of  the  Eussian  Kingdom  and  the  German  Empire. 
The  welcoming  speech  of  the  Burgomaster  of  Augsburg, 
at  the  inspection  of  the  Bavarian  troops,  is  here  given : 
"I  have  the  honor,  most  illustrious  Prince,"  said  he,  ''here, 
at  the  entrance  of  our  ancient  hall,  to  offer  you  our  most 
joyful  and  respectful  welcome.  Our  town,  which  long 
boasted  of  its  rank  as  a  free  imperial  city,  in  the  lapse  of 
time  has  become  truly  Bavarian,  whilst  it  has  ever  re- 
maine<l  as  truly  German.  Hence  it  is  that  our  rejoicing  is 
great  at  the  restoration  of  the  Empire,  which,  whilst  it 
secures  us  the  right  to  manifest  the  German  sentiments 
which  we  have  always  cherished,  yet  reserves  us  also  the 
right  of  being  true  Bavarians  still." 

The  Prince  heartily  endorsed  these  sentiments  in  his 
reply.  "  I  can  hardly  express  my  views  better  than  by 
repeating  the  language  I  used  last  year  at  Munich,  to  wit: 
that  each  component  element  of  the  German  Empire 

494  "UNSKR  FRITZ." 

should  retain  its  proper  individuality,  but  each,  para- 
jnountly  revering  the  Fatherland,  should  contribute  his 
best  powers  to  continue  that  unity  Avhich  has  been  so 
dearly  purchased  in  field  and  State.  That  it  has  fallen  to 
my  lot  to  fight  in  comradeship  with  your  brave  country- 
men I  shall  always  remember  as  one  of  my  highest  privi- 
leges, and  I  shall  not  fail  to  treasure  up  the  kindly  senti- 
ments of  the  Bavarian  people  to  myself.  My  reception 
here  binds  me  to  you  in  still  deeper  gratitude,  and  I  ask 
you  to  convey  my  thanks  to  the  men  of  Augsburg.  God 
grant  that  the  noble  aspirations  you  have  breathed  for  the 
welfare  of  our  Fatherland  may  be  fulfilled  and  that  our 
buds  of  hope  may  come  in  their  richest  bloom !  Animated 
by  this  spirit,  I  can  shout,  'Long  live  His  Majesty,  King 
Louis  II.  of  Bavaria ! '  " 

Although  the  education  of  Frederick  III.  had  been 
principally  in  the  military  line,  his  tastes  were  evidently 
in  the  direction  of  peace.  In  the  progress  of  the  arts 
and  agricultural  pursuits  of  the  German  people  he  was 
sincerely  interested.  He  deemed  agriculture  and  its 
branches  as  the  chiefest  source  of  his  country's  prosperity, 
and,  from  his  writings  and  speeches,  it  must  be  assumed 
that,  had  his  life  been  spared,  his  special  work  would  have 
been  directed  towards  the  elevation,  amelioration  and 
instruction  of  the  peasantry  class  of  Germany.  At  a 
speech,  made  at  the  Agricultural  Exhibition  of  Bremen, 
in  1874,  he  said :  "  In  all  the  fields  of  industry,  which  give 
vital  progress  to  the  State,  that  of  agriculture  deserves 
the  most  consideration.  Who  will  deny  that  the  pros- 
perity of  agricultural  interests  concern  all  classes  alike; 
not  only  in  times  of  peace,  but  more  especially  in  time  of 
war,  as  well  as  holding  out  the  fairest  hope  of  a  calm  and 
contented  future,^ " 

^riebridf  III,,  6er  twtblidjent  Kaifet  pon  Drnlfd^lanb  nni  'Kontg  pon  preugm 


"UNSER  FRITZ."  495 

Bat  of  all  the  noble  traits  characterizing  the  late  Em- 
peror Frederick  III.  Ins  love  and  constancy  to  his  family 
life  is  the  most  conspicuous.  It  is  declared  of  hinl  that  he 
Avas  never  more  happy  than  in  the  circle  of  his  wife  and 
his  numerous  children.  The  old  saying,  "  The  life  of  a  full 
nest  is  the  best  calculated  to  the  development  of  nobleness 
of  character,"  because  attendant  upon  the  friction  of  daily 
life — ^the  spirit  of  forbearance,  consideration  and  good-hu- 
mor are  nurtured,  while  a  spirit  of  emulation,  a  desire  for 
approbation,  and  generosity  are  equally  fostered — was 
never  better  illustrated  than  in  the  household  of  the 
Emperor  Frederick  III. 

The  story  of  his  private  life  is  so  opposed  to  the  ac- 
cepted idea  of  the  homes  of  kings  and  princes,  that  it  finds 
few  parallels  in  history,  if  we  except  that  of  his  grand- 
father. King  Frederick  William  III.  and  his  wife.  Queen 
Louisa.  Frederick's  home  was  conducted  after  the  simple 
fashion  of  private  citizens.  With  all  the  fervency  of  his 
conscientious  nature,  his  utmost  care  and  fondest  atten- 
tion were  directed  toward  the  education  and  welfare  of 
his  children,  in  which  task  he  was  worthily  assisted  by  a 
loving  mother  and  devoted  wife. 

As  an  illustration  of  how  Frederick  III.  lived  at  home, 
it  is  related,  that  one  day  a  prominent  staff-officer,  ap- 
pearing at  the  door  of  his  private  apartments,  was  agree- 
ably surprised  at  the  unusual  scene  there  presented. 

In  the  midst  of  his  boisterous  children  the  Crown 
Prince  lay  outstretched  upon  the  floor,  while  his  wife  sat 
upon  the  sofa  occupied  with  her  needle.  The  Prince  did 
not  seem  to  be  disturbed  in  the  least  by  the  entrance  of 
the  official,  who  had  come  on  a  charitable  errand  in  aid  of 
a  distressed  family.    "  You  see,"  said  the  Prince  jestingly, 

4d6  "  UNSER   FRITZ/^ 

upon  learning  the  object  of  the  visit,  "my  wife  and  chil- 
dren are  all  healthy,  and  have  the  best  of  appetites, 
leaving  nothing  for  others."  Notwithstanding  this  declar- 
ation, the  venerable  officer  received  a  generous  gift,  after 
wliich  the  Prince  returned  to  his  "  fun  with  the  children." 

Another  characteristic  anecdote  is  told  of  the  man- 
ner in  which  he  administered  family  discipline  at  Pots- 
dam. One  of  the  young  princes  was  proverbially  afraid 
of  water.  He  was  in  the  habit,  therefore,  of  refusing  to  be 
washed.  The  Crown  Prince,  upon  perceiving  this,  gave 
orders  to  the  officers  on  guard  at  the  palace  not  to  give 
the  customary  salute  to  the  young  gentleman  when  he 
should  pass  the  sentinel.  The  prince,  having  thus  been 
ignored  a  few  times,  did  not  know  what  to  make  of  it. 
At  last  he  carried  his  grievance  to  his  father,  who  curtly 
replied :  "  Prussian  soldiera  do  not  present  arms  to  un 
washed  princes." 

It  is  not  generally  known  that  Frederick  III.  was  a 
Mason,  and  the  fact  that  he  was,  and  honored  the  organi- 
zation, will  be  of  interest  to  the  *'  craft ''  m  the  United 
States.  An  interesting  reminiscence  of  his  connection 
with  the  ancient  order  is  preserved  in  the  address  of  his 
father,  William  I.,  who,  at  the  close  of  the  ceremony  con- 
ferring the  first  degree  upon  his  son,  said  :  "  To  the  man 
who  has  aimed  and  striven  for  the  highest  good,  there  is 
but  one  object  in  life.  To  a  right  understanding  of  this 
object,  this  social  order  will  lead  you.  Only  make  it  your 
constant  endeavor  to  hearken  to  its  pious  teachings,  and  let 
it  be  your  determination  truly  to  stand  to  its  rules,  and  you 
shall  find  it  so.  Amongst  the  uninitiated,  no  doubt,  there 
is  suspicion  as  to  the  principles  of  the  Order,  and  clamorous 
voices  are  ready  to  traduce  it;  but,  as  I  can  yield  to  no 

"imSEB  FRITZ.''  497 

one  who  has  never  been  admitted  to  the  brotherhood  the 
right  to  pass  a  judgment  at  all,  so  I  can  declare  by  my 
own  knowledge  that  no  heed  should  be  gi  ven  to  the  clamor. 
In  the  future  that  is  before  you,  you  will  not  fail,  I  trust, 
to  give  a  proof  of  your  clear  and  uncompromising  de- 
fense of  the  Order  to  which  you  are  admitted.  The  veil 
of  secrecy  with  which  it  covers  itself  causes  it  to  be 
attacked,  and  there  are  those  who  maintain  that  such 
secrecy  cannot  be  indispensable.  Thus  there  are  some 
who  Avould  like  to  level  everything  just  for  the  sake  of 
having  a  plain  and  uniform  surface ;  and  many  of  those 
who  traduce  us  look  only  superficially,  and  do  not  desire 
to  be  undeceived.  Be  it  your  part,  however,  to  show 
yourself  a  firm  protector  of  the  Order,  and  so  not  only 
will  you  be  providing  for  your  own  security  in  the  future, 
but  you  will  be  sustaining  yourself  with  the  noble  con- 
sciousness that  you  are  striving  to  promote  what  is  true 
and  good." 

Upon  ascending  the  imperial  throne  of  Germany, 
and  the  royal  throne  of  Prussia  Emperor  Frederick  IIL 
issued  the  following  significant  message  to  the  German 
Keichstag : 

"  We,  Frederick,  by  the  grace  of  God,  Emperor  of 
Germany,  King  of  Prussia,  &c.,  proclaim  that,  with  the 
demise  of  our  beloved  father,  under  'God's  inscrutable 
will,  the  imperial  dignity,  with  the  Prussian  crown,  has 
devolved  upon  us,  and  wo  have  taken  upon  ourselves  the 
rights  and  duties  bound  up  therewith.  We  are  resolved 
to  keep  inviolable  and  firmly  to  uphold  the  imperial  con- 
stitution, and  by  this  policy  conscientiousl}"  to  respect 
and  guard  the  constitutional  rights  of  the  individual  fed- 
eral States  and  the  Eeichstag.     Fully  conscious  of   our 

498  "  UNSER   FRITZ. 

exalted  task,  after  the  example  of  our  ever  remembered 
father,  it  will  always  be  our  endeavor,  in  conjunction 
with  the  princes  and  free  towns  of  the  Federation,  and 
with  the  constitutional  co-operation  of  the  Keichstag,  to 
shield  justice,  freedom  and  order  throughout  the  Father- 
land, safe  guard  the  honor  of  the  Empire,  maintain  peace 
at  home  and  abroad,  and  foster  the  welfare  of  the 

"By  the  unanimous  readiness  with  which  the  Reich- 
stag agreed  to  the  proposals  to  strengthen  the  defensive 
power  of  the  Fatherland  in  order  to  assure  the  security 
of  the  Empire,  the  late  deeply  lamented  Emperor  had  the 
last  days  of  his  life  rejoiced  and  strengthened.  He  was 
not,  however,  permitted  to  express  his  thanks  to  the 
Reichstag.  All  the  more,  therefore,  do  we  feel  the  need 
of  transmitting  to  the  Reichstag  this  legacy  of  its  impe- 
rial master,  who  is  now  resting  with  God.  We  express 
our  thanks  in  recognition  of  the  patriotism  and  devotion 
it  has  again  shown.  Trusting  confidently  to  the  devotion 
and  tried  love  for  the  Fatherland  of  the  whole  people 
and  the  people's  repesentatives,  we  place  the  Empire's 
future  in  God's  hands. 
'*Given,at  Charlottenburg  the  15th  day  of  March,  1888. 

[Signed]  "Fkedbeick. 

[  Countersigned]  "  Bismarck.'* 

To  the  Prussian  Landtag  he  also  addressed  the  fol- 
lowing message,  as  King  of  Prussia : 

"  We,  Frederick,  by  the  grace  of  God,  King  of  Prus- 
sia, hereby  proclaim  and  make  known,  that  it  having 
pleased  God,  after  the  demise  of  the  Emperor  and  King 
William,  our  much  beloved  father,  to  call  us  to  the  throne 

Pic  Kaifcriit'lPittmc  Pictoria. 


a    „^To,..»»      i^.r,^" 

unsp:r  fritz.  499 

of  our  ancestors,  we  herewith  send  to  the  Landtag  our 

"The  sentiments  and  purposes  Yiith  which  we  enter 
upon  our  government,  and  the  principles  on  which  we 
shall  exercise  our  royal  office,  have  been  proclaimed  by 
us  to  our  faithful  people.  Walking  in  the  paths  of  our 
glorious  father,  we  shall  know  no  other  aim  to  strive  for 
than  the  happiness  and  welfare  of  the  Fatherland. 

"  By  conscientiously  observing  the  constitution,  fully 
safeguarding  all  prerogatives  of  the  crown,  and  loyally 
co-operating  with  the  national  representation,  the  King 
hopes,  with  God's  help,  to  attain  his  object,  which  is  the 
happiness  and  welfare  of  the  country.  The  condition  of 
his  health  prevents  him  from  taking  the  oath  personally. 
Desiring  to  declare,  without  delay,  his  position  regarding 
the  constitutional  laws,  although  this  could  admit  of  no 
doubt,  he  now  solemnly  undertakes  to  adhere  to  the  con- 
stitution firmly  and  inviolably,  and  to  rule  in  conformity 
with  the  laws." 

In  relation  to  the  newly -annexed  provinces  of  Alsace 
and  Lorraine,  the  following  proclamation  was  issued : 

"  Our  beloved  father,  His  Majesty,  Emperor  William, 
having  departed  this  life,  in  accordance  with  God's  decree, 
the  Imperial  dignity,  together  with  the  laws  of  the  Em- 
pire and  the  government  of  the  Reichsland,  has  devolved 
on  us.  We  have  taken  it  over  in  the  name  of  the  Empire, 
and  are  determined  to  preserve  the  rights  of  the  Empire 
over  the  German  territories  reunited  to  the  Fatherland 
after  a  long  interval.  We  are  conscious  of  our  duty  to 
cultivate  in  the  Reichsland  German  sentiments  and  German 
customs,  to  protect  right  and  justice  and  to  promote  the 
welfare  and  prosperity  of  the  inhabitants.    In  our  endea- 

500  "UNSER   FRITZ." 

vors  todojasticetothis  task  we  count  upon  the  confidence 
and  devotion  of  the  people  and  the  faithful  fulfillment  of 
their  duties  by  the  authorities.  We  demand  and  expect  a 
conscientious  observance  of  the  laws.  At  the  same  time 
we  shall  do  our  part  to  extend  imperial  protection  to  the 
rights  of  all  by  means  of  an  impartial  administration  of 
justice  and  benevolent  governme  t,  conducted  circum- 
spectly, but  with  a  firm  hand.  The  union  of  Alsace  and 
Lorraine,  which  a  lapse  of  years  cannot  impair,  again  bo- 
comes  as  intimate  as  it  was  in  the  time  of  our  ancestors, 
before  tliese  German  lands  were  severed  from  the  ancient 
and  glorious  union  of  their  kindred  countrymen. 

[Signed]  "  Fbbdebiok. 

[Countersigned]  "  Hohenlohb. 

"  Oharlottenbubg,  March  15." 

But  the  most  remarkable  documents  issued  by  the  late 
Emperor  Frederick  III.  are  "  The  Address  to  His  People" 
and  the  autographic  letters  to  Prince  Bismarck,  in  which 
his  policy  is  outlined  and  his  high  aims  and  aspirations  for 
the  welfare  of  Germany  clearly  defined. 

The  proclamation  to  his  people  ran  as  follows: 

To  My  People: 

The  Emperor  has  ended  his  glorious  life.  In  the  much- 
loved  father  whom  I  bewail,  whom  my  royal  house  with 
me  laments  in  deepest  sorrow,  the  faithful  Prussian  peo- 
ple have  lost  their  fame-crowned  King,  the  German 
nation,  the  founder  of  its  unity,  and  the  newly-risen 
Empire  the  first  German  Emperor.  His  illustrious  name 
will  remain  inseparably  bound  up  with  all  the  greatness 
of  the  German  Fatherland,  in  whose  new  creation  the 
strenuous  labors  of  the  Prussian  people  and  princes  has 
met  with  its  most  splendid  reward.    While  King  William 

"UNSER  FRITZ."  501 

raised  the  Prussian  army  to  the  heights  of  its  earnest 
vocation  by  never-tiring  care,  a  nation's  father,  he  laid  a 
sure  foundation  for  the  victories  which  were  afterward 
gsiined  by  German  arms  under  bis  leadership,  and  out  of 
which  sprang  national  unity.  He  thereby  secured  to  the 
Empire  a  position  of  power,  such  as  up  to  that  time  every 
Grerman  heait  hjid  yearned  for  but  scarcely  dared  to  hope 
for.  And  that  which  he  won  for  his  people  in  honorable, 
death-bringing  fight  he  was  destined  to  strengthen  and 
beneficially  increase  by  the  long  and  peaceful  toil  of  his 
laborious  yeai-s  of  government. 

"  Safely  resting  upon  her  own  strength,  Germany  stands 
forth  esteemed  in  the  council  of  the  nations,  and  desires 
only  to  enjoy  in  peaceful  progress  that  which  she  has  won. 
That  this  is  so  we  have  to  thank  Emperor  William.  In 
his  never-wavering  devotion  to  duty,  and  his  indefatigable 
activity,  consecrated  to  the  welfare  of  the  Fatherland,  he 
was  supported  by  his  reliance  upon  the  self-sacrificing 
devotion  of  which  the  Prussian  people  had  giyen  unvary- 
ing proofs,  and  in  which  all  the  German  races  shared. 

"All  the  rights  and  duties  which  are  connected  with  the 
Crown  Prince  and  my  house,  and  which,  for  the  time  that, 
according  to  God's  will,  may  be  allotted  me  to  rule,  I  am 
resolved  to  faithfully  preserve,  have  now  passed  to  me. 
Imbued  with  the  greatness  of  my  mission,  I  shall  make  it 
my  whole  endeavor  to  continue  the  fabric  in  the  spirit  in 
which  it  was  founded — to  make  Germany  the  center  of 
peace  and  to  foster  her  welfare. 

"  To  my  faithful  people,  who  have  stood  by  my  house 
throughout  the  history  of  the  whole  century,  in  good  as  in 
evil  days,  I  offer  my  unbounded  confidence,  for  I  am  con- 
vinced that  on  the  basis  of  the  unbreakable  bond  between 

502  "UKSER   FEITZ." 

the  sovereign  and  the  people,  which  independently  of 
every  change  in  the  life  of  the  State,  forms  the  unalterable 
inheritance  of  the  house  of  flohenzollern,  my  crown  rests 
henceforth  as  securely  as  it  does  upon  the  devotion  of  the 
country  to  the  Government  of  which  I  am  now  called,  and 
of  which  I  solemnly  promise  to  be  a  faithful  King,  both  in 
happiness  and  in  sorrow. 

"  May  God  grant  me  His  blessing  and  strength  to  carry 
out  this  work  to  which  my  life  shall  henceforth  be 
devoted.  ''  Fkedekiok. 

"  BerUn,  Mai'ch  12th,  1888". 

The  autographic  letter  to  Prince  Bismarck  contains 
probably  more  truly  loyal  and  high  minded  sentiments, 
than  were  ever  officially  communicated  by  a  powerful 
monarch,  to  his  prime  minister : 

"  My  DfiAB  Prince — At  the  commencement  of  my  reign 
it  is  necessary  for  me  to  turn  to  you,  for  many  years  the 
trusted  servant  of  my  late  father,  who  now  rests  in  God. 
You  are  the  true  and  courageous  counsellor  who  gave  to 
his  policy  its  aim  and  form,  and  secured  its  complete 
f  uliUment.  You,  I  am  in  duty  bound  to  warmly  thank 
for  the  maintenance  of  my  house.  You  have,  therefore, 
the  right,  before  all  others,  to  know  what  are  the  stand- 
points which  will  be  the  guiding  spirit  for  upholding  my 

'*  The  ordinances,  the  Constitution,  and  the  right  of  the 
Empire  and  of  Prussia  must,  before  all,  be  consolidated 
in  veneration  and  in  the  customs  of  the  nation.  The 
concussions,  which  frequent  changes  in  State  regulations 
and  measures  entail,  should  be  avoided  as  much  as 
possible.  The  advancement  of  the  administration  of  the 
Imperial  Government  must  be  left  undisturbed  on  the 

« TT^TO^n     ^:^Tr»,  5> 


firm  foundation  whereon  the  Prussian  State  has  hitherto 
rested  in  security  in  the  Empire. 

"The constitutional  rights  of  all  the  Federal  Govern- 
ments must  as  conscientiously  be  respected  as  those  of 
the  Eeicbstag,  but  from  both  a  similar  respect  for  the 
rights  of  the  Emperor  must  be  expected.  At  the  same 
time  we  must  keep  before  our  eyes  that  these  mutual 
rights  must  only  serve  for  promoting  the  public  welfare, 
which  remains  the  supreme  law  of  the  land,  and  wliich 
must  always  be  employed  in  fully  satisfying  any  fur- 
ther and  undoubted  national  requirements  which  may 

"As  the  necessary  and  surest  guarantee  of  the  unim- 
peded execution  of  these  tasks,  I  see  the  unabated  main- 
tenance of  the  warlike  power  of  the  country,  of  my  well- 
tried  army,  and  of  the  navy  now  growing  up,  for  which 
important  duties  have  arisen  in  the  acquirement  of  trans- 
oceanic possessions.  Both  must  at  all  times  be  maintained 
by  the  full  completion  of  their  organization,  which  already 
forms  the  foundation  for  their  fame,  and  which  insures 
their  further  effective  service. 

"/  am  resolved  to  conduct  the  Oovemment^  hoth  in  the 
Empire  and  in  Prussia^  with  a  conscient/iouB  observation 
of  the  provisions  in  the  constitutions  of  each.  These  have 
been  founded  by  my  predecessor's  throne  upon  the  wise 
recognition  of  the  irrefutable  necessities  for  the  settlement 
of  the  difficult  task  arising  in  the  social  and  official  life  of 
the  country,  and  must  be  observed  on  all  sides  in  order 
to  insure  their  force  and  beneficent  efficacy.  I  desire  that 
the  bases  of  religious  toleration  which  for  centuries  past 
were  held  sacred  by  my  house  shall  continue  to  be  extended 
to  all  my  subjects  of  whatever  religious  community  or 

504  "UNSKE   FKITZ." 

creed.  Every  one  of  them  stands  equally  near  my  heart, 
for  all  have  shown  equally  complete  devotion  in  times  of 

"  In  agreement  with  the  views  of  my  imperial  father,  I 
shall  warmly  support  all  efforts  calculated  to  improve  the 
economical  prosperity  of  the  different  classes  of  society,  to 
conciliate  their  opposing  interests,  and  as  far  as  it  is  in  my 
power  to  alleviate  unavoidable  perplexity,  without^  how- 
eiJer^  raising  the  exj>eciati<m8  as  though  it  were  possible  to 
end  all  ills  of  society  by  State  intervention. 

"  Closely  bound  up  with  the  social  question,  I  regard 
that  of  the  education  of  3'outh.  The  efforts  to  this  end 
must  be  on  a  higher  scale  and  more  widely  accessible. 
We  must  avoid  ci'cating  dangers  by  partial  education  and 
awakening  demands  which  the  economical  powers  of  the 
nation  cannot  satisfy.  We  must  also  be  careful  that 
through  one-sided  efforts  for  increased  knowledge  the  task 
of  education  shall  not  be  neglected.  Only  a  generation 
growing  up  upon  a  sound  basis,  in  the  fear  of  God  and  in 
simplicity  of  morals,  can  possess  sufficient  rising  powers 
to  overcome  dangers  which  in  times  of  rapid  economical 
'movement  arise  for  the  entire  community  through  ex- 
amples set  by  highly  luxurious  individuals. 

"It  is  my  will  that  no  opportunity  be  lost  in  the  public 
service  to  offer  every  opposition  to  temptation  dispropor- 
tionate to  proper  expenditures.  My  unbiased  considera- 
tion is  that  every  proposal  of  financial  reform  be  assured 
in  advance,  unless  the  long-proved  economy  in  Prussia 
will  not  permit  the  avoidance  of  the  imposition  of  fresh 
burdens  and  effect  an  alleviation  of  the  demands  hith- 
erto made  upon  the  country. 

"  The  self-government  granted  the  greater  and  lesser 

"UNSER   FRITZ."  505 

communities  in  the  State  I  consider  beneficial.  On  the 
other  hand,  I  would  suggest  for  examination  of  the  ques- 
tion the  right  of  levying  taxes  conferred  upon  these  com- 
munities, which  is  exercised  bv^  them  without  sufficient 
regard  for  the  burden  simultaneously  imposed  by  the 
Empire  and  the  State,  may  not  weigh  unfairly  upon  indi- 
viduals. In  like  manner  it  will  have  to  be  considered 
whether,  in  simplifying  matters,  a  change  in  organizing 
the  authorities,  wherebv  a  reduction  in  the  number  of  offl- 
cials  would  permit  an  increase  of  their  emoluments,  should 
we  succeed  in  maintaining  in  their  strength  the  bases  of 
the  State  and  social  life.  It  will  specially  gratify  me  to 
bring  to  its  full  development  the  blossom  which  German 
art  and  science  shows  so  rich  a  measure  for  realization. 

*'  These  are  my  intentions,  and,  counting  upon  your 
well-proved  devotion,  and  on  the  support  of  your  tried 
experience,  may  it  be  vouchsafed  me  thus,  with  the  unan- 
imous co-operation  of  the  organs  of  the  Empire,  and  the 
devoted  activitj'  of  the  representatives  of  the  people,  as 
well  as  all  the  officials,  and  the  trustful  collaboration  of  all 
classes  of  the  population,  to  lead  Germany  and  Prussia  to 
new  honors  in  the  domain  of  pacific  developments. 
Careless  of  splendor  and  glorious  achievements^  I  shaU  he 
contenty  if  H  can  he  liereafter  said  of  my  government  that 
it  has  heen  heneficial  to  my  people^  useful  to  my  covmiry^ 
and  a  hlessing  to  the  Empire. 

"  Your  affectionate 

"  Frbderigk." 

Of  the  Emperor's  reign  of  ninety-nine  days,  history 
records  not  one  so  melancholy ;  a  monarch  though  he  was, 
not  a  day  of  his  reign  could  he  call  his  own  in  the  sense 
of   absolute   freedom   from    physical   suffering;   never 

506  "UN8ER  FRITZ." 

formally  crowned,  because  unable  to  appear  before  the 
Reichstag  to  take  part  in  the  ceremonies  necessary  to  the 
assumption  of  the  imperial  power  of  Germany  and  Prussia. 
His  tragic  reign  was  not,  however,  without  a  certain 
compensation,  if  fame  is  the  prize  which  men  most  aim 
for.  The  pains  and  sorrows  of  his  last  years  brought  to 
him  the  pity  of  all  mankind,  while  the  patient  and  cheerful 
stoicism  with  which  he  bore  his  affliction  drew  from  the 
world  eulogies  of  the  loftiest  character.  He  left  behind 
him  a  singularly  high  reputation;  and  it  is  not  too  much  to 
say  that  he  was  the  most  loved  ruler  that  ever  reached  a 
European  throne.  It  was  matter  of  regret  for  some  years 
among  many  of  the  Emperor  William's  subjects  that  he 
did  not  in  his  later  reign  and  enfeebled  state  of  health 
associate  his  honored  and  competent  son  more  intimately 
in  the  management  of  German  affairs,  some  going  so  far 
as  to  aver  that  both  people  and  prince  would  have  been 
well  pleased  had  he  gracefully  placed  the  imperial  mantle 
upon  the  shoulders  of  his  son,  ere  disease  had  robbed  him 
of  all  desire  to  rule  and  taken  from  him  all  enjoyment 
in  life.  Even  before  he  ascended  the  throne,  IVederick 
had  demonstrated  in  a  quiet  and  modest  manner  that, 
although  his  mind  was  of  a  different  order  from  his 
father's,  it  was  one  that  marked  him  out  as  well  fitted  for 
his  high  destiny.  He  came,  indeed,  into  the  world  of 
politics  with  a  solid  reputation  as  a  soldier.  It  did  not 
fall  to  his  lot  to  organize  great  wars  like  the  veteran 
Moltke,  but  he  bore  the  burden  and  heat  of  the  day  in  two 
of  the  greatest  campaigns  of  modem  times,  and  divided 
the  honors  of  both  with  Prince  Frederick  Charles.  His 
soldiering  was  quite  as  notable  for  prudence  as  for  brilliant 
qualities ;  it  was  conspicuous,  also,  and  perhaps  above  all 


"UNSER   FKITZ."  507 

things,  for  his  power  of  making  himself  popular  with  the 
rank  and  lile  of  his  army.  In  politics  he  showed  sub- 
stantially the  same  qualities  as  distinguished  him  in  war- 

"  Our  Fritz  "  of  the  battle-field  would  have  been  "  Our 
Fritz  "  of  the  Fatherland,  if  the  chance  had  ever  come  to 
him  of  manifesting  fully  what  he  was  made  of.  As  it  is, 
Europe  has  lost,  by  his  death,  one  of  the  most  open- 
minded  and  magnanimous  of  her  leading  public  men.  He 
was  the  hope  of  the  liberal  party  of  Germany. 

As  has  been  said  before,  the  last  few  months  of  Fred- 
erick's reign  was  but  a  weary  chronicle  of  suffering,  borne 
with  great  fortitude  and  cheerfulness,  and  watched  with 
alternate  hope  and  fear  by  all  Europe.  The  immense 
crowds  of  citizens  of  all  classes  waiting  patiently  day  after 
day  before  the  palace  gates  at  Potsdam  for  the  official 
bulletins,  or  for  a  sight  of  the  Emperor  at  his  window, 
was  the  most  eloquent  and  touching  tribute  to  his  worth, 
and  a  striking  testimonial  of  the  appreciation  in  which  he 
was  held  by  the  people. 

The  Emperor's  ailment  was  a  throat  disease,  but  its 

malignant  character  had  not  been  fully  developed  until 

1887,  when  an  operation  of  the  larynx  was  determined 

upon.    A  year  of  cahn,  dignified  and  resigned  suffering 


Day  after  day  the  public  were  informed  of  what 

appeared  to  be  his  gradual  restoration  to  health,  and  what 
seemed  like  adequate  proof  of  this  was  afforded  by  his  fre- 
quent drives  through  the  streets  of  Berlin.  It  did  not 
seem  to  be  credible  to  the  Germans  that  the  robust  sol- 
dier, the  handsome,  stately  figure  which  they  had  seen 
but  a  few  years  before  at  the  head  of  the  German  armies, 

608  "UNSKR   FRITZ.^* 

throwing  terror  and  dismay  into  the  ranks  of  Germany's 
enemies,  should  actually  have  been  smitten  by  a  malady 
which  might  prove  fatal.  The  mere  rumor,  much  more 
the  reality,  called  forth  a  prompt  and  sustained  outburst 
of  strong,  sympathetic  feeling.  For,  though  he  was  mod- 
est and  retiring,  and  had  been  only  the  dutiful  first  sub- 
ject in  a  mighty  empire,  he  ha<l  won  the  hearts  of  friends 
and  foes,  and  men  in  all  lands  looked  toward  him  as  one 
who  would  be  a  great,  just  and  kindly  sovereign  when  he 
should  be  permitted  to  rule.  That  day  came,  but  under 
what  tragic  conditions  1  The  aged  Emperor  died  afar 
from  his  "dear  Fritz,"  whom  he  so  longed  to  see  again, 
and  Fritz  himself,  bereft  of  the  power  of  speech,  was  com- 
pelled to  cross  the  Alps,  ill  as  he  was,  in  order  to  take 
his  place  at  the  heiul  of  an  empire,  and  yet  was  not  per- 
mitted to  stand  beside  his  father's  bier  I  Few  more  touch- 
ing journeys  have  been  recorded  than  this  of  the  stricken 
Prince  from  his  sunny  refuge  on  the  Riviera  to  a  city — a 
nation — in  mourning,  deep  and  sincere.  A  profoundly 
impressive  accession;  watched  with  eagerness  and  sym- 
pathy, not  only  in  Germany,  but  beyond  the  Atlantic,  on 
remote  Af^.can  plains,  and  on  the  shores  and  islands  of 
the  Farther  East — wherever  the  English  and  the  German 
tongues  are  spoken. 

Thus  vacillating  between  hope  and  fear,  it  became 
known  to  his  admiring  subjects  that  the  Emperor  had 
experienced  a  relapse;  that  his  original  malady  was  com- 
plicated with  others  of  as  serious  a  nature.  The  alarm 
which  prevailed  at  San  Remo  before  the  operation  of  tra- 
cheotomy had  been  performed  was  revived,  and  with  good 
reason.  Again,  however,  so  unwilling  were  the  people  lo 
relinquish  the  long-deferred  hope  of  seeing  him  upon  the 

'^UNSKR   FRITZ.*'  509 

throne  of  Germany,  came  the  news  that  his  disease  had 
assumed  more  favorable  conditions;  that  his  improve- 
ment allowed  him  to  attend  the  marriage  of  his  second 
son,  Prince  Henry,  and  the  idea  finally  found  lodgment 
in  the  public  mind  that,  after  all,  Frederick  III.  would 
regain  sufficient  health  to  reign  for  a  few  years,  at  least. 
It  was  not  to  be,  however.      For  his  disease  there  was 
alleviation,  but  no  cure;  and  on  June  12th  the  fatal  re- 
lapse occurred.     At  midnight,  June  14th,  there  seemed  to 
be  a  slight  improvement  in  his  condition.    He  was  prepar- 
ing to  sit  up  for  a  half  hour  in  his  arm-chair.    He  then 
returned  to  bed,  and  at  midnight  the  Empress  dismissed 
the  Crown  Prince  and  other  members  of  the  Imperial 
family  to  their  apartments,  and  prepared  herself  to  pass 
the  night-watch  in  a  room  adjoining  the  sick  chamber  of 
the  Emperor.    Dr.  Hovell  shared  in  the  vigil.    At  this 
time  the  Emperor  was  in  the  full  possession  of  his  facul- 
ties.   Shortly  after  1  o'clock  he  Tvrote  on  a  slip  of  paper 
the  following  questions,  which  he  handed  to  Dr.  Hovell: 
"  How  is  my  pulse  ?    Are  you  satisfied  with  it  ? "    He  then 
wrote  something  more,  but  retained  the  piece  of  paper  in 
his  hand  after  erasing  the  words.     Between  3  and  3 
o'clock  his  breathing  became  terribly  labored,  and  some 
moments    of   struggle  would    occur,    alternating    with 
spasms  and  great  distress  as  the  hanl  fight  with  approach- 
ing death  progressed.    By  this  time  the  strength  of  the 
dying  Emperor  was  seen  to  be  waning.    As  soon  as  it 
became  evident  that   the  end  was  near,   the  Empress 
.  caused    the    royal   family    to    be    summoned.      At    8 
o'clock  all  gathered    around  the   bedside.     Dr.  KiJgel, 
Court  Chaplain,  who  had  been  summoned  by  telegram 
from  Ems,  did^not  arrive  in  time  to  administer  the  last 

510  "UNSER   FBITZ.'* 

sacrament.  Dr.  Persius,  therefore,  officiated  in  his  stead. 
Pastor  Eogge  was  also  present  in  tJie  death  chamber. 
During  the  administration  of  the  sacrament,  and  indeed 
even  to  within  fifteen  minutes  before  his  death,  the 
Emperor  appeared  to  be  quite  conscious.  He  showed  by 
tlie  expression  of  his  eyes  and.  by  the  movements  of  his 
eyelids  that  he  still  recognized  all  who  approached  the 
bedside,  relatives  and  others. 

During  the  last  hour  the  Empress  held  the  Emperor's 
right  hand,  and  the  Crown  Prince  and  Crown  Princess 
stood  on  the  left  side  of  the  death-bed. 

A  touching  scene  occurred  at  the  bedside  on  the  morn- 
ing of  June  15th,  while  the  Emperor's  life  was  passing 
away.  Bismarck  had  called  to  bid  his  dying  master  a  last 
farewell.  The  Emperor  was  thoroughly  conscious,  and, 
taking  the  hand  of  the  aged  Chancellor  in  his  own  feeble 
grasp,  and  motioning  the  Empress  to  draw  nearer,  he  took 
her  hand  and  joined  it  with  that  of  Bismarck,  thus  giving 
a  silent  and  pathetic  token  of  his  desire  for  a  reconcilia- 
tion of  all  differences  between  his  wife  and  the  Prime 

His  death  gave  to  Germany  her  profoundest  moment 
of  grief.  Every  mark  of  esteem  was  shown  at  the  fare- 
well ceremonies  attendant  upon  his  burial.  When  the 
procession  reached  the  church  it  was  filled  with  more  than 
a  thousand  wreaths  of  flowers  that  in  no  way  suggested  a 
funeral.  The  laurel  wreath  lying  on  the  coffin  was  given 
to  Frederick  by  his  father  after  the  battle  of  Worth. 
The  Dowager  Empress  Augusta,  the  Princess  of  Wales, 
and  all  the  daughters  of  the  late  Emperor  were  waiting  in 
the  church  when  the  procession  arrived.  Forty  clergy- 
men preceded  the  coffin  up  the  aisle  and  formed  a  semi- 

IDilt)eIin  11-,  Kaifec  ron  Heutftt^lonD  unt>  KSni^  Don  pitngen. 


«  wr^^^t^     ir-orr^  » 

UNS£K   FEITZ.  511 

circle  aroand  it  as  it  was  Dlaced  on  the  altar.  The  Chief 
Court  Marshal,  Prince  Badolinski,  and  four  other  Marshals, 
assisted  by  the  Ministers  of  State,  placed  the  crown  and 
other  insignia  of  royalty  around  the  coffin.  While  the 
organ  played  softly,  a  hymn  was  sung,  and  then  the  Court 
Preacner  K5gel  read  a  chapter  from  the  Bible.  Then,  as 
salutes  were  being  jQred  from  without,  the  young  Emperor, 
William  II.,  accompanied  by  the  King  of  Saxony,  went 
forward  to  take  a  last  farewell  of  the  dead.  The  choir 
chanted  softly,  and  the  royal  and  princely  personages 
drew  back.  The  King  of  Saxony  bent  forward  and 
kissed  the  cloth  that  hung  from  the  coffin.  For  a 
moment  the  young  Emperor  stood  erect,  and  then, 
dropping  suddenly  on  his  knees,  he  seized  the  cloth  with 
both  hands  and  buried  his  face  in  it.  What  his  thoughts 
were,  who  can  tell  2  The  older  King  knelt  beside  him. 
After  a  long  time  the  young  Emperor  arose,  and,  with  his 
head  bent  down,  moved  to  the  side  of  the  altar.  One 
after  another  the  others  went  forward  and  kissed  the 
robe,  and  the  funeral  of  Oermany's  martyr  Emperor  was 



EMPEROE  FEEDERIOK  III.  had  hardly  breathed 
his  last,  when  his  son,  Frederick  William,  born  at 
Berlin,  January  27, 1859,  was  raised  to  the  throne  of  Prus- 
sia and  imperial  power  of  Germany,  as  William  11.  It 
would  be  both  unprofitable  to  the  reader  and  equally  un- 
just to  the  young  Emperor,  to  enter  upon  wild  prognostic 
cations  concerning  his  aims  or  probable  policy.  There  is 
nothing  in  his  antecedents,  nor  utterances  since  assuming 
his  imperial  title,  to  justify  the  assumptions  of  certain 
publicists  that  his  reign  will  be  of  a  despotic  character,  or 
that  he  would  recklessly  precipiate  his  country  into 
a  foreign  war. 

What  we  do  know  of  him  is,  that  like  all  of  the 
Hohenzollems,  from  the  Great  Elector,  with  one  or  two 
exceptions,  he  has  a  penohmU  for  military  Ute,  and  will 
always  regard  his  army  as  the  strongest  safeguard  to  the 
maintenance  of  good  order  and  the  continued  stability  of 
Germany — a  conviction  which  can  not  be  said  to  be  with- 
out justification,  when  it  is  remembered,  on  the  one  side, 
that  under  Austrian  supremacy,  in  the  Reichstag  of  1849, 
attempts  were  made  to  liberalize  Germany,  and  on  the 
other  side,  the  crude  and  visionary  schemes  of  the  social- 
ists for  fundamental  changes  in  the  form  of  the  imperial 

We  also  know  of  him  that,  aside  from  his  military 
training,  he  has  received  a  liberal  education,  first  at  the 
Gymnasium  (high  school)  at  Cassel,  where  it  is  said  his 


EMrEKOK    V/ILLIAM    II.  513 

manner  of  training  was  thoroughly  democratic,  the  prince 
being  placed  upon  an  exact  equal  footing  with  the  hum- 
blest of  his  comrades.  Here  he  remained  several  years, 
graduating  among  the  first  of  his  class.  From  Cassel  he 
was  sent  to  the  University  of  Bonn,  where  it  is  well  known, 
the  slightest  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  distinguished 
Hohenzollern  to  assume  "  princel}'^  airs,"  would  have  been 
met  by  the  whole  corps  of  students  with  sneers  of  deris- 
ion. The  fact  that  on  his  graduation  from  the  Uni  vei-sity, 
at  a  collation  given  in  his  honor,  he  gave  expression  to 
sentiments  which  Avere  in  full  accord  with  those  of  the 
most  democratic  and  humblest  of  his  fellow-students,  is 
also  to  be  placed  upon  his  credit  side.  During  his  speech 
he  said,  after  the  health  of  his  grandfather  and  his  own 
had  been  drunk,  "  I  thank  you  gentlemen,  first  of  all,  for 
the  salamander  you  have  so  heartily  drank  to  the  health 
of  my  grandfather  and  then  to  me,  and  I  cannot  but  ex- 
press the  deep  pain  I  feel  at  the  thought  of  leaving  your 
joyful  ranks  so  soon.  I  thank  you  for  having  received 
me  as  a  corps  student.  I  have  learned  to  know  the  spirit 
animating  the  fighting  clubs  as  well  at  their  duel  ground 
as  in  their  social  gatherings.  It  is  a  good  and  right  hon- 
est German  mood,  and  I  will  remain  true  to  the  spirit  of 
this  corps  till  the  end  of  my  life." 

Upon  his  return  from  the  University,  he  at  once  en- 
tered uiK)n  his  military  career.  It  was  on  this  occasion 
that  Emperor  William  gave  him  the  following  fatherly 
talk  :  "  You  have  learned  from  a  study  of  history  that 
all  the  kings  of  Prussia  have,  together  with  their 
duties  as  regents,  always  paid  chief  attention  to  the 
army.  The  great  Elector  gave  a  mighty  example  to  his 
hosts  bv  his  own  personal  courage.    Frederick  knew  very 


well  when  be  placed  the  crown  upon  his  head  that  he 
would  be  compelled  to  defend  his  steps.  He  knew  well, 
however,  that  his  troops,  tried  in  battle,  would  enable  him 
to  do  so.  Frederick  William  I.,  in  the  garrison  which 
you  now  enter^  and  which  has  been  well  called  the  cradle 
of  the  Prussian  army,  laid  the  firm  foundation  to  its  or- 
ganization by  the  strict  discipline  which  he  introduced, 
without  which  no  army  can  exist,  and  this  spirit  still  lives. 
Frederick  the  Great,  possessed  of  natural  talent  as  a  com- 
mander, took  this  firmly  built  organization  as  the  basis  of 
the  army  with  which  he  made  war  and  fought  battles 
that  made  him  immortal.  In  the  last  year  it  was  the 
Prussian  army,  with  its  invincible  courage,  its  steadfast 
endurance,  that  enabled  Prussia  to  attain  the  great  posi- 
tion she  now  occupies.  Your  youth  fell  in  these  days. 
*""  You  have  in  your  father  a  noble  example  in  the  guid- 
ance of  wars  and  of  battles.  In  the  service  which  you 
are  about  to  enter,  however,  you  will  come  across  matters 
that  may  seem  insignificant  to  you ;  but  you  wiD  learn 
that  in  the  service  nothing  is  small,  and  that  every  stone 
belonging  to  the  structure  of  an  army  must  be  properly 
formed  if  the  completed  edifice  is  to  be  firm  and  lasting; 
therefore,  I  bid  you  go  and  do  your  duty." 

On  the  27th  of  February,  1881,  Prince  William  waa 
married  to  Princess  Augusta  Victoria,  daughter  of  the 
late  Grand  Duke  of  Schleswig-Holstein.  Four  sons  have 
been  born  to  them,  the  eldest  of  whom  is  now  the  Crown- 
prince,  Frederick  William,  and  is  six  years  old. 

A  slight  incident  transpired  in  1885,  which,  although 
insignificant  in  itself,  proves  the  young  Emperor  to  be  a 
man  above  the  punctilious  observances  of  the  oldregimes, 
and  also  furnishes  a  glimpse  of  his  personal  character. 




At  a  fine-art  exhibition  in  Berlin,  at  which  it  was 
known  the  Prince  would  be  present,  Mr.  Adolph  Loeb,  of 
Chicago,  was  invited.  Knowing  the  old  severity  of  court 
etiquette,  Mr.  Loeb,  when  asked  to  attend,  said  "  he  would 
not  be  able  to  appear  in  a  swallowtail,  as  he  was  only 
traveling  in  Europe  on  business."  Being  assured  that 
the  absence  of  this  garment  would  not  be  noticed  by  His 
Eoyal  Highness,  Mr.  Loeb  consented,  and  in  passing  be- 
fore the  picture  on  exliibition,  unexpectedly  met  and  was 
introduced  to  the  Prince.  After  saluting  him,  Mr.  Loeb, 
doubtless  deeming  the  Prince  the  man  he  is,  replaced  his 
hat,  as  he  would  have  done  in  a  public  place  after  salut- 
ing the  President  of  the  United  States.  Naturally,  the 
courtiers  surrounding  the  Prince  were  dumbfounded,  but 
the  Prince  seemed  not  to  notice  this  departure  from  the 
usual  formalities,  and  appeared  to  enjoy  meeting  a  man 
who  had  either  forgotten  or  never  learned  the  art  of 
"foot-scraping"  before  royalty.  During  the  remainder 
of  the  exhibition,  the  Prince  repeatedly  returned  to  Mr. 
Loeb  to  talk  of  Chicago,  to  which  city  he  had  made  a 
flying  visit  some  years  before,  and  upon  parting,  cordially 
shook  hands  with  him,  and  wished  Mr.  Loeb  to  take  his 
greetings  to  his  fellow  Germans  in  Chicago. 

The  admiration  of  William  II.  for  Chancellor  Bismarck 
is  well  known,  and  it  is  the  knowledge  of  this  fact  which 
fills  the  minds  of  the  socialistic  agitators  with  appre- 
hension, as  well  as  the  sober-minded  conservatives  with 
feelings  of  satisfaction  and  security. 

No  true  friend  of  Germany's  well-being  will  indulge 
in  gratuituous  forebodings  concerning  the  probable  course 
of  her  youthful  ruler.  There  is  an  impression  abroad, 
that  a  well-defined  streak  of  practical  common  sense  has 


governed  the  rule  of  action  of  the  Hohenzollern  family 
from  its  earliest  period,  and  it  will  require  more  than  the 
simple  assertion  of  speculating  pessimists  to  eradicate 
this  soothing  impression.  It  may  be  well  here  to  remem- 
ber, that  those  in  the  old  Fatherland,  who,  before  the 
difficulties  with  Austria  and  France,  were  bitterly  opposed 
to  King  (Emperor)  William's  urgent  demand  for  ample 
army  appropriations,  have  long  since  acknowledged,  they 
were  wrong  and  he  was  right. 

The  American,  who  is  only  a  distant  ^nd  disinterested 
observer,  when  confronted  with  lugubrious  prognostica- 
tions about  the  willful  and  autocratic  disposition  of 
Emperor  William  II.,  will  wisely  interpose  his  standing 
admonition  of  fair  play,  to  wit:  ^'Give  the  man  a 

May  5  -    1915